Uptown and fed up with Christmas shopping? Got an hour to kill before getting the bus home?
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Spiegeltent, St Andrew Square
In that case, the twisting, turning, gravity-defying acrobatics of Australian contemporary circus act, Circa, might appeal to you.
Yes, the Brisbane performers are all as strong as an ox and as flexible as a rubber-band. However, the production’s loosely held theme - where people, animals, fantasy and reality intertwine - does little to disguise the fact Beyond is, simply put, a series of gymnastic sequences punctuated by occasional attempts at humour and performers wearing large, fluffy animal head-pieces.
So while curious onlookers might bemoan the lack of a stronger gimmick, for those who like to admire the elasticated ability of a finely-tuned body - mere millimetres away from your nose in some instances - you won’t be too disappointed. Indeed, the best segments come when the performers are at their most balletic.
Such beautiful, graceful demonstrations of balance and strength seem more at home (better appreciated, too, perhaps?) in grand theatres. So when things get a bit silly - watching one acrobat regurgitate a piece of paper to gagging-reflex effect is neither artistic or entertaining - you get the feeling the director is appealing to his own sense of humour rather than a general audience’s.
Seeing someone solve a Rubik’s Cube (partly with their feet while blindfolded) seems like the sort of thing you’d see on Britain’s Got Talent, too; however, when you’re this close to the action, you will sit there thinking ‘how did she do that’? Indeed, the reactions of the audience are an under-appreciated element here, so do take a moment to look out with the centre-circled stage now and then.
Of the eight performers on show, it has to be said that the women outshone the men (sorry, guys). How their skin isn’t as torn and bruised as it should be is anyone’s guess. Still, for all the rabbits, bears and who knows what else running about the place, you can’t help admire the focus, agility, and ultimately, trust of the artists before you.
It’s Circus, Jim, but not as we know it.
Runs ends January 3