LONG LIVE THE RINGMASTER
Kinetix Theatre at the Civic
“Bringing theatre back to the masses”, Kinetix Theatre combined circus, combat and crime thriller in forty-five minutes of tricks, tumbles, twists and surprises.
The Ringmaster lies lifeless in the sawdust. But who dunnit ?
Was it Boris the clown, with a water pistol and Fluffy the lion ? Or singing, dancing strongman Samson, who finally inherits her mantle and brings a touch of camp to the Big Top ?
The talented troupe vault, fight, sing and dance towards the truth of the matter, as Samson draws on his Meerschaum and solves the mystery.
Six energetic young performers [alumni of East 15 Acting School] worked hard at the tumbling, the swordplay and the comedy, though the show wasn't always sure where it was going, or why. This kind of crossover is notoriously difficult to bring off - gymnasts and theatre buffs share few criteria in common. The Entry of the Gladiators, played at the top of the show, the archetypal circus tune, reminded me of the inimitable Theatre du Soleil, bringing circus to the French Revolution at the Roundhouse ["1789" 1971].
After the interval, team tee shirts replaced the circus costumes for a demonstration of their skills, a chance for the audience to try the trampette, after coach Brad Wendes vaulted effortlessly over a dozen stooges, and Lewis Peploe shared some of the secrets of stage combat.