- The Stage - https://www.thestage.co.uk -

Cirkopolis review at Pleasance at EICC – ‘impressive stunts but hazy narrative’

Cirque Eloize's Cirkopolis. Photo: Valerie Remise

Cirkopolis has technical feats aplenty but its lacks a real storytelling soul. Intended as a family-friendly reworking of Metropolis, the narrative clarity is somewhat fuzzy. Instead of a set, there’s a digital backdrop that zooms through a gloomy greyish vista of factories and skyscrapers. Images of churning cogs and a procession of shuffling figures in trench coats and trilbies indicate that this is a mechanised urban society, subject to lively bursts of circus.

[1]
Cirque Eloize’s Cirkopolis. Photo: Valerie Remise

A female performer’s impressive Cyr wheel routine to a schmaltzy ballad sets up a romantic interest for the central protagonist and a precedent for tired gender roles. during a hand-balancing sequence, a woman in a purple dress is passed between blokes – while it’s an awesome feat in itself, her agency is symbolically reduced to looking winsome and raising her leg to a crotch-splitting height.

Later, a construction site turns into a playground ripe for stunts from both sexes while bureaucratic conformity is ripped up and flipped around in an ensemble section featuring a teeterboard and novel use of a filing cabinet. For all its fun tricks and high-jinks, there’s something curiously routine and cold about Cirkopolis. Gravity is defied, but its spirit remains oddly pedestrian.

Verdict
Impressive acrobatic stunts tacked onto a hazy narrative in circus reinvention of Metropolis

Production Information

Production
Cirkopolis
Venue
Pleasance at Edinburgh International Conference Centre
City
Edinburgh
Starts
August 21, 2017
Ends
August 28, 2017
Composer
Stefan Boucher
Director
Jeannot Painchaud, Dave St-Pierre
Choreographer
Dave St-Pierre
Design
Virginie Bachand (make-up)
Set
Robert Massicotte
Lighting
Nicolas Descoteaux
Costume
Liz Vandal
Technical
Renald Laurin (acting adviser)
Cast includes
Colin Andre-Heriaud, Selene Ballestoros-Minguer, Pauline Baud-Guillard, Ashley Carr, Aaron Dewitt, Jonathan Julien, Frederic Lemieux-Cormier, Anna Lewandowska, Alexie Maheu, Arata Urawa, Jeremy Vitupier, Antonin Wicky
Producer
Cirque Eloize
Running time
1hr 20mins