Friday, 7 November 2014

Circa Wunderkammer at Curve Leicester. Review

Historically a Wunderkammer was a piece of German furniture that also seems to have many other names but one purpose: to fascinate. It was also known as a Cabinet of Curiosities, Kunstkabinett, Kunstkammer, Cabinets of Wonder, or Wonder room. Friends and family would come round and be amazed at all the crazy collections of curiosities one had assembled and would talk for hours over what they were being shown.

So it is with Australia's modern day circus company Circa founded by Yaron Lifschitz and their show Wunderkammer. It is crazy, utterly riveting, deeply curious, brave and far more fascinating than any fleeting firework display happening outside the Curve theatre on this bonfire night.

The troupe has seven astonishingly talented performers, both men and women and for a non-stop eighty-five minutes the transfixed audience are in genuine wonder at a fluid fusion of contemporary circus. Their work is a breathless cocktail of circus arts, often done with much humour and sexiness, a mix of dance, acrobatics, trapeze work, cabaret, vaudeville and burlesque. Their innovative circus work also has one key element – danger. Whilst the performers are tumbling and flying across the bare stage with well practised and very highly skilled ease we are constantly aware that this is a dangerous art and thrilling with it.

The show is a series of set pieces performed either as a single artiste, a selection of artistes or the whole ensemble. Alas, I have no names to share as there was no programme. The Curve audience lap up every second and appreciative applause, gasps of amazement and much laughter for every wonderful display are constants throughout the show. It is truly a show you want to go on for hours. Utterly amazing, poetic and utterly unique. Circa Wunderkammer is at Curve until 8th November.

Review originally for The Public Reviews Nov 5th 2014

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