Despite huge expectations due to Circa’s formidable reputation, their latest show, Closer, still manages to surprise and excite.
There is an intimacy to Circa’s Closer beyond the absolute trust necessary to, often literally, put your life in someone else’s hands. In this performance there is a strange and beautiful feeling of love and tenderness between the performers themselves, as well as between them and their various apparati. Adding an intensity to the usual thrills and spills, this bit of shade and darkness brings a depth to balance the dizzying and frivolous heights. There’s all the usual skills of acrobatics, strength and balance, but it’s how this is packaged and presented that really counts – and that is what they’ve got just right.
There’s some mad-cap, almost frenzied, acrobatic tumbling and apparently careless throwing each other about. Other up-beat portions include a hula-hoop routine that challenges you to keep track of the phenomenal number of hoops one woman can catch and keep twirling about her person and some typical circus mayhem that untypically employs some audience participation.
In between the rough and tumble and climbing over each other that, were it not for the breathtaking skill, would most closely resemble children at play, there is some awesome feats that require an audience’s respectful silence and a performer’s total concentration. Often this is accompanied by some haunting but very cool background music. There is also a peculiar-yet-brilliant routine where one of the guys mimes to Oasis’s Champagne Supernova while hanging by his outer elbows – and other odd bits of his body – from a trapeze. And in between all this and so much more, there is an awful lot of hugging.
It’s an amazing show and rightly attracts an audience that spans the ages. Breathtaking and heart-warming.
Runs until 29 August (not 16 or 23), £16.50-£18.50.