Review in Issue 10-1 | Spring 1998

Conspiracy kick-started ‘Brit-Circ’ when they first brought together a variety of artists and incorporated their individual acts within a unifying narrative structure. Dealing with the encounters between terrestrial and extra-terrestrial life, the action in this performance alternates between comic and acrobatic scenes on the stage floor and the aerial skills of Higher than the Sun on trapeze. Increasingly the two worlds become integrated but the fluid artistry of alien life is cruelly cut short by the darker side of human nature as the final scenes bring a blaze of gunfire to the Circus Space.

The loose tapestry of comic vignettes and acrobatic high jinx are held together by DJ Relapse’s seamless soundtrack, which effectively complements the mood on stage and is as diverse in style as the acts themselves. The highlights of the evening are Stretch People’s balancing act on table and chairs, and the final trapeze solo. The former successfully engage the audience’s sympathy with their self-deprecating manner and absurd humour. The audience care about whether their stunt succeeds or fails. In this respect Stretch People, more than any of the other artists, manage to add a theatrical component to their physical skills. At the other extreme, the final trapeze soloist relies on the spectacular and at times genuinely breathtaking nature of his feats to draw the audience into his performance.

To judge by the receptive audience, ‘Brit-Circ’ already has a strong following. But to take on companies like Cirque du Soleil in the wider arena, Conspiracy will need to add a more engagingly theatrical approach to their high standard of physical skill.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-1
p. 24