Theatre Scenes goes to Wellington Part Two: Beyond (2014 New Zealand Festival)

Beyond breaks boundaries. Photo by Andy Phillipson

Circumspectacular [by Sharu Delilkan]

Beyond breaks boundaries.     Photo by Andy Phillipson
Beyond breaks boundaries. Photo by Andy Phillipson

“Circus spectacular” doesn’t even begin to describe the innovative circus act that is currently gracing the stage of Wellington’s Opera House as part of the 2014 New Zealand Festival.

Right from the get-go you know that the Brisbane-based circus company Circa is going to entertain you. The tongue-in-cheek delivery of every acrobatic twist and turn of the agile troupe is extremely refreshing. You can’t help falling in love with all the caricatures that they paint with their elasticity and constant injection of humour. In short it’s great to see such talented people but who don’t take themselves seriously – an endearing quality that has the audience eating out of the palm of their hands.

This slick show is definitely one not to be missed. Not only is it original, but the pace is phenomenal. There isn’t a moment for the audience to exhale, in fact most of the time is spent with us not only spellbound but holding our breath as each of the acrobats/entertainers toy with our emotions feigning near misses and/or wobbles in their numerous compromising positions and contortions. Speaking of contortions, the main contortionist not only has joints akin to an Indian rubber ball but she is able to get in and out of positions that didn’t quite feel humanly possible. Gaping mouths and chorus gasps are aplenty as these supple entertainers move effortlessly in and out of their poses – a great sight to behold when our inner child is brought to the fore.

It’s obvious that the eight-month residency in cabaret capital Berlin has made Circa’s show Beyond a cut above. Beyond reflects on the nature of traditional circus through use of innovative props and amazing feats of athleticism. Traditional gender roles are inverted and the dynamic circus acts are enhanced by animal costumes and blindfolds, set to a bewitching mix of show tunes.

The joint vision of artistic director Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble uses the human body as a vehicle to express and ignite emotions. These skills should be recognised in terms for their amazing artistic integrity both technically and in the creation of exceptional entertainment that appeals to all ages. Beyond is a place where acrobatics and movement meld into a seamless whole. It can’t be denied that this inimitable show is a celebration of the expressive possibilities of the human body at its ultimate extreme.

Beyond is ultimately an unmissable experience that will leave you gagging for more, simply because it goes beyond your wildest expectations.

Partnered by Westpac with support from the Queensland Government and Australia Council for the Arts, Beyond plays at The Opera House, Wellington until 16 Mar. Details see the 2014 New Zealand Festival

SEE ALSO: Theatreview.org.nz review by Jillian Davey

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