Waldo’s Circus of Magic and Terror is advertised as a new musical, and it does have songs in, but it also has much more. To me, it feels like a play with music, dance, creative access design, and circus acrobatics mixed together. And the combination is very effective. The show is powerful, with funny moments, beautiful moments, and devastatingly sad moments as it reminds us of terrible things that have happened to people who are considered ‘different’ through history.
‘Showing pockets of life’: Shana Carroll on what it’s like to bring Canadian circus company The 7 Fingers’ latest show to the UK
This Autumn, the UK is the first stop for Canadian contemporary circus company, The 7 Fingers, with their international tour of Passagers. Travel is an integral theme to the show but, after nearly two years of a global pandemic, the idea of traveling seems a world away from what it was when director Shana Carroll started creating the production.
‘Peppered with magical moments’: Circus 1903 – Royal Festival Hall
Circus 1903 may lack the charm and authenticity of a tented touring circus but it is also a well polished, artistically sound and slick production boosted by a hardworking cast and crew.
‘Fierce, unapologetic, thought-provoking & radical’: EVERYTHING I SEE I SWALLOW – Edinburgh Fringe
Fierce, unapologetic, thought-provoking and radical, Everything I See I Swallow may not the circus show you wanted, but it’s the circus show you needed.
‘People need to take notice’: ALONG – Edinburgh Fringe
The rhythms of TS Crew’s bounding, twisting, spinning bodies in Along are timed to perfection with the music, whether boy-band synchronised or splitting into physical polyphony.
‘Fascinating, funny & surprising’: XOXO MOONGIRL – Edinburgh Fringe
Overall xoxo moongirl is fascinating, funny, and surprising. It held my attention throughout.
‘It’s weird, it’s fun, it’s moving’: THE PENGUIN & I – Bristol
Striking new British circus companies have been few and far between over recent years, so it’s a relief to be able to add a new group to my must-watch list. The Penguin & I is one of those rare shows that I’d be happy to see again.
‘Sure to delight fans of both dance & circus’: SIGMA – Touring in Canada
Sigma is a cross-cultural integration of dance and circus that pushes the classical and the contemporary together into a wonderful production that is sure to delight fans of both artforms.
‘Thrilled my senses with beauty’: LIQUID SKY – Bristol
I want to rejoin the communal rites of turning our heads to the sky and moving our bodies subtly to the beating soundscape. Liquid Sky thrilled my senses with beauty. I want more of that please.
‘New show with an old world feel’: CIRQUE ÉLOIZE’S HOTEL – Toronto
Celebrating their 25th year entertaining audiences with their own brand of circus, Montreal-based Cirque Éloize presents Hotel, a new show with an old world feel.
‘We should be celebrating the greatness of circus in its enduring glories’: CIRCUS 1903 – Royal Festival Hall
The inter-continental spectacle of Circus 1903 is a nostalgic dream of popular imagination, merging half-remembered histories with modern-day acts more usually seen inside a Big Top or dedicated circus building than in the theatres receiving this tour.
‘Some top-class acrobatic mischief’: WOLFGANG’S MAGICAL MUSICAL CIRCUS – Barbican Centre
Circa might be best known in the UK for its sophisticated grown-up circus but, this year, the legendary Aussie company has brought one of their dedicated children’s shows – Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus – over to our shores.
‘Wonderfully delightful production’: SLAVA’S SNOWSHOW – Toronto
Slava’s Snowshow is an absolutely, wonderfully, delightful production. It is no surprise that it has been touring the world constantly since its premiere in 1996 at the Hackney Empire Theatre in London.
‘Explores our very nature through movement & music’: Circa’s Humans in Toronto
This is not the first time that Circa, the touring, Brisbane-based group led by artistic director Yaron Lifschitz, has staged a show here in Toronto, but it is my first time experiencing one of the company’s productions.
‘There are clever elements & ideas’: INTARSI – Touring
With a company of four male performers, inTarsi seeks to tenderly examine ‘the strange beast that is the human being’ through a blend of acrobatics, contemporary dance and physical theatre.
‘A joyful circus-theatre playdate’: PLINK & BOO – Touring
Plink & Boo, from Can’t Sit Still, is a joyful circus-theatre playdate that shows us fun doesn’t have to be coded by gender.
‘A stunning display of acrobatics combined with a refreshing playfulness’: BACKBONE – Royal Festival Hall
Backbone, from the Australian company Gravity And Other Myths, is a stunning display of acrobatics, combined with a refreshing playfulness that has me feeling upbeat and strangely emboldened.
‘Told almost exclusively through acrobatic & aerial techniques’: You & I – Edinburgh Fringe
Go see You & I if you like: high-level circus technique, Disney films, romance, stage shows, men who aren’t afraid to show vulnerability.
‘The combination of mesmerising manipulation & dry comedy left me wanting more’: GIBBON – Edinburgh Fringe
It is a pleasure to watch this skilful duo deconstruct their performance in front of us and the combination of mesmerising manipulation and dry comedy left me wanting more.
‘More than just great music’: 8 Songs – Edinburgh Fringe
I’ve never really thought of juggling as being sexy, but maybe I’ve been watching the wrong juggling. Witnessing the six cast members – three women and three men – literally vibrate as though possessed by something outside of themselves, to the words and music of the Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy for the Devil’, made my own flesh tingle.