Director: Kalle Lehto
Reviewer: Deborah Klayman
Roll up, roll up, it’s time for a different kind of circus experience! Designed specifically for children, Race Horse Company’s new performance effortlessly blends acrobatics, juggling and clowning with humour and a live musical score. Gentle, engaging and delightful throughout, Around is perfectly-pitched children’s theatre.
The four-strong cast is made up of circus performers Kalle Lehto and Susanna Liinamaa, aptly accompanied by musician Sami Tammela and Ben Rogers. Lehto is the ringmaster in every sense, very expressive and compelling to watch, and engages the audience wherever possible – even humorously responding to somewhat bizarre observations made by some of the younger spectators. The piece uses no language, so it infinitely accessible, and wonderfully uncomplicated. The “big tricks” performed by Lehto and Liinamaa are impressive, and the performers move between the set pieces with ease and lightness. There are also a number of surprises in store, which keep even the youngest audience members rapt.
Composed especially for the piece, the music is complimentary and both well-crafted and performed. Mixing traditional instruments, such as guitar and drums, with computer-generated sounds and beats, this has a contemporary feel which keeps the audience immersed in Race Horse Company’s wonderful world.
The set is cleverly designed, gradually developing as the piece does from a sparse stage to a circus top. If you have never seen a giant banana chased by a monkey or break-dancing on a hobby horse, this is a show that cannot be missed. Short and sweet, with a running time of forty minutes, this will definitely leave you wanting more.
Runs until 13 April 2017, then touring | Image: Eero Alava