Created by:Yaron Lifschitzwith theCirca Ensemble
Reviewer: Glen Pearce
While some circus groups such as Cirque du Soleil strive constantly for the next big special effect to make their shows more spectacular, Yaron Lifschitz and his Circa ensemble have returned to the basics with their latest work, What Will Have Been. Performed in the round and on a bare stage, this intimate interpretation of the form draws the audience in and creates a work of immense power.
The interpretation of story is one for the audience to make their own but at the heart of the piece is the joyful and touching interplay of relationships between two male and one female performer. Is it a love triangle, a friendship or the representation of different aspects of one relationship? Whatever narrative the viewer chooses to take from the piece it’s a clear dramatic arc that shows that circus can provide drama as well as thrills.
Of course, this being Circa the thrills are there in abundance, with the trio performing a series of feats that leave the audience breathless. There is more than one moment in this engaging show that you find yourself having to remember to breathe.
Lauren Herley, Daniel O’Brien and Lewie West pitch their performances perfectly. Each movement, each a seemingly impossible contortion of the human body, is perfectly placed to gain maximum visual and dramatic effect.
The trio displays the impeccable split second timing that we’ve become accustomed to from Circa, as they leap, tumble and contort their bodies into shapes that shouldn’t be physically possible – yet there is also a deep sense of characterisation. There’s a sense of playfulness but also a deep emotional connection on display that moves and tugs at the heartstrings. In the close confines of the Adnams Speigeltent we are able to see ever muscle flex, every drop of sweat but also every twinkle in the eye.
From draw-droppingly beautiful aerial rope and trapeze work, through to demonstrations of strength and control on balance poles, this is a trio perfectly in tune with each other and perfectly aware that they are creating a strong visual story that moves as much as their impressive skills.
With a score that fuses the electronic with virtuosic live Bach violin by Rebecca Seymour, What Will Have Been transcends from an entertainment experience into something much more spiritual. As the trio form a final embrace and Seymour’s violin fades into darkness it’s only the hardest of hearts that won’t be wiping a tear from their eye.
What Will Have Been premiered in Norwich but it’s clear that this masterly re-defining of the boundaries between circus, music and drama will have a long and successful life long after this festival is over. A company that continually stretches the boundaries, Circa have set the bar high for their next production that follows this outstanding work.
Runs until 24 May