Wednesday, 13 May 2015

What Will Have Been - Circa at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival

'Wisps, strings, ribbons, lace,
capillaries, filaments,
delicate networks...
something sustains us
in tension.'
George Szirtes

Acrobatic pioneers Circa are currently premiering their new show at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival. What Will Have Been is an intimate three person plus violinist piece with a particle physics core. We kick off with the voice of Robert Oppenheimer reflecting back on the first atomic bomb testing, and what follows seems to have at its heart the interaction of particles and physical forces: colliding, attracting, repelling, Newtonian equal and opposite reactions. At times it feels like the stage has been set up as a (small) hadron colider, where bodies are shot around the stage to collide, sparking further movement. 

The show features three of Circa's ensemble members - three new faces to Circa's ever growing repertoire of shows and performances. It is accompanied by a single solo violinist playing Bach pieces interspersed with electrical music including The Velvet Underground's Pale Blue Eyes. What Will Have Been is packed with Circa's archetypal enthusiasm for inverting gender stereotypes. Our single female acrobat often takes on significant heavy lifting work, while it is the relationship between the two men that I often found most compelling. There is a tenderness to all of the interaction, and for a show all about the drama of bodies, much of what I loved here was in the drama of the eyes. Circa mix death-defying circus performance with dance, movement, stillness, and theatre. Its the tension that enables and sustains, and I had poet George Szirtes's line above in my mind throughout the show. 

What Will Have Been is on at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival nearly every night for the next 2 weeks. Tickets are sold out, but returns are probable. If you can get a ticket, a quiet spectacle is assured. 

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