Of the many jaw-dropping spectacles are a kite which takes its owner for a flying lesson, ghoulish puppets sat watching a person entertain them and a human shadow featuring real attention to detail. These fascinating and highly original set pieces contain none of the high gloss of Cirque Du Soleil or the annoying clowns and grating soundtrack. In their place are some stunning quirky music pieces, a breakneck pace and loads of laughs.
The most eye-catching scene features Aurelia being rocked by a monstrous silhouette, losing a leg and knitting it back to life! This may sounds totally ludicrous and a bit avant garde, but the delightful thing about this circus of beauty as opposed to horror is that it appeals to the child in all of us.
Monika Schwarzl, Tarzana Foures and Christina Galeeazzi work so hard back stage organising puppets and supporting the main artistes that everything appears totally seamless, so the frenetic pace hardly lets up. But the odd illusion does feel a bit stretched. For instance a scene involving our heroine playing alarm clocks like musical instruments reminds me of the annoying newspaper playing sequence in Stomp. Also many sketches are too short and leave the audience feeling slightly restless.
But Victoria Thierree Chaplin's gorgeous canvas of a set, evocative sound and gloriously over the top costumes and dreamlike choreography more than make up for the odd gap in momentum.
Thierree herself is a stunning creature to watch. Her athleticism, grace and quirkiness are a wonderful sight to behold. She gives the piece the wide eyed innocence of Amelie meets Alice in Wonderland. Support comes from Aidan Treays who dances, climbs and glides across the stage - even finding time to make the audience laugh in the process.
This is unlike anything you have seen before and, despite the odd lapse, adds up to a funny, moving and unique night out. Give your eyes a treat!
- Glenn Meads (reviewed at the Lowry, Salford)