Flying Dragon Circus

Directed by Pierrot Bidon, Composer Yang Le
Produced by Frank Wilson
Theatre Royal, Newcastle, and touring
(2008)

Production photo

I saw a lady do things with candelabras I've never ever seen done before. She was carrying them on the soles of her feet, which just happened to be pointing skywards, balanced atop her head, and also on the palms of her hands all at the same time, and all the candles lit, mind you.

A little party trick that's sure to liven up your next dinner party no end

The Flying Dragon Circus has come to town, making its European premiere in Newcastle, no less.

And it's brought with it all the colour and spectacle of an inventive show produced by the world-famous Pierrot Bidon, creator of the legendary Archaos circus.

Billed as a ground-breaking celebration of the very best of Chinese and European circus traditions, Flying Dragon Circus is a bit of family-friendly fun. It's a blend of East meets West, boy meets girl, with a few flying monks and punks thrown in, in a succession of daring acts.

There's lots of humour in this show, which is pure spectacle, and of course, it's non-stop action. With everything from acrobatics, aerial antics featuring British artists with cloud swing and flying trapeze, comedy, acts with silks draped from the ceiling, contortionists doing things with their bodies that really defy belief, and Kung Fu Shaolin warriors breaking bits of wood over various parts of their bodies. And not forgetting the smiley hula hoop girl, a gyrating mass of quivering hoops.

It's a fun, funky show, and you seriously can't tear your eyes away, even if you do find yourself watching the trapeze acts through parted fingers.

And far from feeling dated, the show has a fresh, edgy feel, greatly enhanced with a catchy score performed by Chinese musicians and brilliant Newcastle band, The Baghdaddies, bringing their eclectic danceable music to the mix.

Kids are sure to love it, if only for the sheer spectacle of seeing these incredibly strong, bendy performers doing such amazing things with their bodies.

Reviewer: Katharine Capocci