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Cirque Eloize – Cirkopolis

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Cirque du Soleil’s hipper, sexier cousin Cirque Eloize is a boundary-pushing group with theatre in its soul. The combination of narrative, dance and circus skills is not just a gesture towards theatrical fusion but these elements are integrated within the work to an impressive, immersive degree. With an extraordinary soundtrack that fills the theatre even before the curtain rises, the production makes spectacular use of video projections and graphics to create a dystopian world inspired by Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

An office drone rubber-stamps his way through ever-increasing piles of paper until outsiders arrive to liberate him through dance and circus acts such as the Cyr wheel, juggling, the German wheel and the Chinese pole. Highlights include the beautiful Cyr wheel to a strange ballad that tickles the tearducts, the sculpted muscular men on the German wheel who might have stepped out of a Leni Riefenstahl film, a juggle-in involving almost everyone, and an aerialist whose way with straps would give Christian Grey a heart attack.

As individual acts strut their stuff, the action continues around or beneath them, with performers flirting, fighting or generally having fun. Far from being a distraction, this keeps the momentum rolling towards a joyous and exuberant climax, which is the best office party I have ever attended – with the possible exception of the insanely entertaining Blam!

February 17-28, PN February 18

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A grey, Kafkaesque world is invaded by circus artists to liberate the workers