Rock N Roll Circus
The show I went to see last night was so massively undersold that my seats where upgraded. On the other hand, at the end of the night the performers received a standing ovation. As always the real story is somewhere between the two: Circa deserved a full house but the idiot enthusiasm of the audience only demeaned themselves and the performers. This show is apparently a bit of a greatest hits package so it was always going to be somewhat episodic. However, it was forced into becoming a series of set pieces by an audience baying for bread and circuses.
Circa are – as the name rather weakly puns – a contemporary circus company. Unfortunately the mindset of the audience is more Barnum & Bailey. This is a recurring problem in physical performance, exactly the same occured with ‘imreadywhenuare’; the audience is only able to treat the performance as a series of tricks. Tricks is really too cheap a word for the demanding acts of skills that the performers execute but that is what the audience reduce then to. And, in fact, the individual showcases that form the middle section of the show are the weakest part. Circa are at their best when deploying their considerable range and melding their individual skill with more considered choreography: one man mesmerising the entire audience with just his fingers, an S&M duet performed to Leonard Cohen or an unrestrained and comic dance featuring the whole company.