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Circa Wunderkammer review

Underbelly Bristo Square

By Ben Walters

Much of the best circus is about suspense, literal and figurative: the poised but unsustainable balancing in space of the object that is the human body, and the excited anticipation in the viewer of how, and how gracefully, that moment of beauty will expire. There can seem something superhuman about this stepping in air but the point is not that its performers defy gravity; rather the opposite, that they know gravity’s stops and channel it utterly. Circa’s latest show, ‘Wunderkammer’, overflows with gorgeous instances of such pleasures: the bodies of its half-dozen performers seem for much of the show to exist in a mesmerising flow of orbits and arcs, ascents and falls. Poised inaction is crucial here, as is considered silence. But there’s spectacle at work too, elements of cabaret, variety and burlesque – not only hula hoop and contortion but clown, song and stripping. The overt recognition of the erotic charge of these bodies in harmonic use is a potent tool while the use of humour humanises as well. The result is rich and exhilarating.

(Listed in Theatre)

And if you like the sound of this, try:

‘Briefs: The Second Coming’, the storming Spiegeltent show from the wonderfully perverted Aussie alt-drag circus troupe – they’ve polished up their technical and presentation skills as Circa have been getting raunchier, each moving closer to the other’s home territory.

For more from Ben Walters in Edinburgh, follow him @not_television

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