Something a little different this week: Closer by a circus troupe called Circa. I’d seen posters when out and about on the tube, but that was scant preparation for seeming them on stage.
Three women and two men turn in a mix of strength, agility and dare-devilry that left Saturday’s audience spellbound. Put it this way, my body does not bend, contort, climb, swing, fold, leap, lift or do any of the other things their bodies seemed to do with ease.
Closer refers, I think, to relationships and dynamics between people – the performers in this case. They appeal, attract, are rejected and bounce back. And there’s a group hug towards the end that involves lying on top of each other. But only the head and shoulders and the feet and lower legs of the person on the bottom are supported, resting on two chairs.
There are solo performances and duets and ensemble pieces, with a soundtrack of old favourites re-cast – Champagne Supanova springs to mind – and songs I didn’t recognise.
There’s no set to speak of, just a black stage. Props are limited to chairs, a trapeze, a rope, something that looks like long bandages, a contraption to balance on and a dozen or so hula hoops.
For over an hour, the performers pushed their bodies beyond anything I could comprehend, but all was done with winsome grace, a lot of fun and deceptive playfulness.
If you’re in London, go see them. They’re at Udderbelly – a tent shaped like a purple cow lying on its back; I joke not – on London’s Southbank until 12 June.