Ticketmaster Summer in Stages

Out of Line and Tryp-tic

Springboard Season of Circus Performance
The Circus Space
(2003)

The performance hall at the Circus Space is a magnificent venue for strikingly visual and physical productions. Situated in what seems to be an old brick church, it is of ample proportions as a staging area, has a wonderfully high-ceiling, facilitating dramatic lighting effects, and seats about 250.

As one entered the space for the premiere of Out of Line 'aerial artist and singer' Gisele Edwards was already present in a white party frock amid a set that constituted a veritable mountain of paperwork, criss-crossed by low-strung washing lines with even more papers pegged to them. She was tapping on an ancient typewriter. The set itself was pleasingly meaningful and aesthetic, the dramatic lighting, transforming a huge silky backdrop into dazzling colours added sensuality to the whole. However, it is the persona Edwards creates that is truly delightful, grinning directly at the audience, engagingly naïve and spontaneous, ever optimistic. Her tight-rope walking and aerial dances form part of an emotional journey she must make from the childish heights, plummeting into the paper-ridden adult world, but irrepressibly climbing again to dance, with cooing and giggling womanhood, to a soundtrack of Ute Lempe singing what sounded like a Weill number: a spirit that cannot be dampened.

Tryp-tic is work-in-progress ear-marked eventually to play in the open air on the South Bank during the summer. Three metal towers form the basis for some quite daring physical feats, woven loosely into a narrative of developing relationships, quirky character traits, and the necessary humour. Mimbre is a contemporary acrobatic company consisting of three women with energy enough to power the national grid. Their blend of acrobatics and choreography is so dynamic that I can see this show will work at its best in the open-air, on the bank of the river. Somehow or other, it was just too big for even such a massive indoor space. Take a walk along the river this summer.

Reviewer: Jackie Fletcher