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All Genius All Idiot review at Jacksons Lane, London – ‘fearless but chaotic’

All Genius All idiot review at Jacksons Lane, London Photo: Tristram Kenton All Genius All idiot review at Jacksons Lane, London Photo: Tristram Kenton

Svalbard Company’s All Genius All Idiot is a lively concoction of circus, physical theatre, movement and music. Led by a long-haired male in a striking combination of antlers, fur-coat and heels, an adrenalin-fuelled, nonsensical performance unfolds.

The mess of bin liners and discarded shopping trolleys – one of which contains the sound deck where songs performed by the cast are mixed live on-stage – creates a grimy, end of the night feel and the cast, staggering around in fur coats, look like they’ve also fallen out the back-end of a club.

There’s a very masculine energy to the company’s physicality and at times their interactions border on aggressive. They throw themselves on the floor and launch off each other’s bodies with reckless abandon – and the landings don’t always look (or sound) controlled. It’s fearless but chaotic and their movement seems to do little besides propel them around the space.

Their strength is in their individual disciplines. The control and elasticity of movement in the opening pole act is impressive, as are the daredevil vertical rope and hand balancing sequences. Less eccentricity and more focus on these skills and this could have been a stronger performance. However, the show’s comic absurdity is entertaining all the same, particularly the drag act style finale and those moments where you don’t quite want to look, bodies teetering precariously at uncomfortable heights.

All Genius All Idiot is acid trip  theatre –  at its most enjoyable when you don’t try and make sense of it and just go along for the ride. 

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Verdict
Trippy mix of circus, physical theatre and live music, lacking in substance but enjoyably surreal
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