The 7 Fingers
Réversible is an absolute tour de force of acrobatic virtuosity and energy. Eight super-talented young circus artists simply dazzle the audience with breathtaking feats intermingled with humour and tantalizing personas.
The stage is set; it is a summer’s evening in a village, like a Commedia Dell ‘Arte farce, young people are rushing back and forth through doors, leaping through windows, climbing the walls. We witness evasions, ejections, chance encounters. Embarrassment, dejection, determinantion and desperation drive the comic mayhem. We find them endearing, amiable, funny, empathize with them, and this engagement heightens our experience of their circus routines; we invest emotionally in their intimacies and the risks they take.
Central to the emotional experience, the music is utterly sublime, evocative and driving the pacing of the show forward, madcap or gently melacholic at times, whimsical at others, and onward to heighten the increasingly thrilling displays of acrobatic skills that set the pulse racing.
The set and costumes are highly evocative too, conjuring up our own imaginative references to flesh out the theatricality: the bride, comically overwhelmed by the copious and unruly folds of her veil, the juggler stealing a nightdress from a washing line, we are drawn into their lives.
This is an uplifting piece of collaboration, ensemble work finely honed, establishing the trust that allows them to take risks. Their timing is perfection and the spectator is carried along on a stream of pure life-affirming energy. It is a celebration of vitality, of life itself, for a new generation of physical theatre performers and their audiences. This young genre is a welcome counterbalance to the postmodern cynicism that has dominated stages in recent years.
If you are suffering from mid-festival fatigue, this show will put the bounce back in mind, body and spirit.
Reviewer: Jackie Fletcher