Tuesday, 17 September 2019
THEATRE REVIEW: Circa: Humans - The Lowry Theatre, Salford.
Wow! I’m not sure where to start with this breathtaking, awe-inspiring, daring and emotional performance of ‘Humans’ from Australian troop Circa, also known as Circa Contemporary Circus, who performed at The Lowry, Salford. I’m still on an emotional high and I was the first on my feet applauding this moving and powerful piece of theatre at the end. After a lovely welcome and hospitality from The Lowry, I took my seat in the packed out stalls and I don’t want to give too much away but there was a lovely bit of audience interaction that I was directly involved in. I thought this a great unique touch to the performance. The show which is 1hr 10mins is perfect for someone like me who can be guilty of having a short attention span, and consisted of varying length mini-pieces to music and each with their own journey and story.
This emotional show started with the various undressing and dressing of garments. I took this as a meaning of us as humans wearing our clothes as masks and all the emotional layers that we wear of our personalities, our quirks and also the parts we hide and reveal. The whole show is a feast of gasp-inducing acrobatics exploring what it means to be human. I am a huge fan of physical theatre and as part of my own actor training worked with some great physical theatre companies. I know the strength and internal energy that is required to lift another human onto your somewhat tiny frame and here I was watching people doing somersaults on people's shoulders and others walking on the heads of their fellow cast members. The musical soundtracks to each piece only added to the energy and pace, some fast, violent, others slow and somber. This is team work at its finest and there are many of this troop of ten that I want to give a special mention to, however this piece of theatre works so well because of the ensemble work. You need one extremely tight ship, you need to trust your colleagues as this has the potential to be very dangerous stuff. So to each and every one of these performers who are true masters of their work I give a special mention. Caroline Baillon, Marty Evans, Piri Lee Goodman, Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Nathan Knowles, Cecilia Martin, Lachlan Sukroo, Maya Tregonning, Jarrod Takle, and Sandy Tugwood. Also artistic director of Circa Yaron Lifschitz who’s productions have been presented in major festivals and venues around the world.
The moving from one piece to another was seamless which included the most amazing trapeze and rope work. I was absolutely mesmerised by one cast member, Knowles, and his out-of-this-world hand balancing, a champion of his work. What was so wonderful was to see was how magnificent our bodies can be, how flexible, how strong and how delicate and fragile we all are at the same time!
There is also humour and laugh out loud moments, I’m still trying to lick my own elbow, go figure! Circa's Humans is so very thought-provoking on relationships, the struggles, the passion (oh my goodness Humans is full of passion!) the love/hate relationships we sometimes have, the manipulation in some relationships. The frustrations of life, I defy anyone not to get moved by watching Humans whether you are passionate about physical theatre or not.
I was on the edge of my seat and barely wrote any notes as I didn’t want to take my eye off the stage for one moment. I urge you to go and see Circa's Humans if you get the opportunity, you will walk out of the theatre knowing a little more about yourself and your fellow humans and that is indeed a powerful and creative thing.
Reviewer - Mary Fogg
on - 16/9/19