In contrast to many circus or dance productions, the main strength of Circa's Wunderkammer is that as well as showing the flair and panache of its performers, we also share their journey of discovery, and lift the lid on the difficulties of the intense co-dependence amongst the cast.
Initially the action is tentative, hesitant, even slapdash. The space is a mess, with figures trying to grab your attention with all manner of stunts and tricks, but there is also insecurity; the troupe appear unsettled by the audience's unremitting gaze. But gradually, as the various characters work together, sections of creativity mesh together, some of which are breathtaking.
From the bubble wrap tap dancing to the human skipping rope, everything is invested with a sense of character, spirit and humour. Circa are not afraid to be clowns, to be grotesque or to be sexual.
Certain sections lack this fresh and playful spirit, and fall into more conventional circus fare, but by and large this is a dazzling, fresh production, demonstrating not just circus skills, but great storytelling and a unique atmosphere.
- Tom Sudron
Circa: Wunderkammer continues at the Underbelly, Bristo Square until 26 August