Everything Is Nice

Beating the nice nice nice thing to death (with fluffy pillows)

Rock N Roll Circus

with one comment

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.

Written by Martin

10 March 2010 at 12:58

Posted in performance

Tagged with ,

One Response

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  1. I went to see Circa again last night and again we were upgraded to excellent seats in the stalls. It appears that the Barbican’s traditional audience for the expensive seats (ie old people) doesn’t really go for circus, no matter how on trend it is. I’m sure they could have sold twice as many tickets if they’d changed the pricing structure, instead of having to move everyone down from the circles and leaving them empty.

    Anyway, the show itself, Wunderkammer, was much the same as the last show (as was the audience). There was a great deal to admire but it wasn’t a patch on Acrobat’s Propaganda show at the Roundhouse last year in terms of experiment and art.


    21 July 2011 at 09:43

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