BWW Review: CIRCUS 1903 - Some Magic Moments
Circus 1903 is circus at its theatrical best...in its opening number... then unfortunately for the show it drops this theatricality and with it its energy and genuine excitement. There are some remarkable artists and beautiful moments, which are particularly captivating. However, there are lengthy periods which stagnate and slow the show up from its premise of depicting circus life back in the early 1900s. This premise is really quite beautiful and some of the monologues delivered by ringmaster David Williamson are incredibly touching. Williamson is an absolute showman and has the audience both laughing hysterically and wowed by his slight of hand magic. He keeps the action flowing whenever the energy dips and is a welcomed feature whenever he enters to the stage.
The show also makes a turn for the better when aerialist Elena Gatilova takes to the skies in a dramatic routine that depicts love loss and longing. It is particularly moving. As is the entrance of Queenie the giant sized life like elephant and Peanut her loveable calf. These puppets, so majestically designed by British company Significant Object are so incredibly stirring that they amaze both children and adults alike. They are controlled by a troupe of incredibly talented puppeteers. Chris Milford, Daniel Fanning, Nyron Levy, Luke Chadwick, Henry Maynard and Jessica Spalis manipulate the mammals with grace, strength and precision. The magnificent animals are the foundation upon which the entire show revolves.
The highlights of the second half are without a doubt French juggler Francois Borie whose skill and speed is something to behold. While David Williamson continues to provide wonderful light entertainment with his improvisational skill that has the audience in raptures.
Circus 1903 delves into the early days of the art form and at times does it in a very effective way. There are some aspects of the show which could be tweaked before its North American tour, however, as a show there are enough thrilling individual moments to sustain interest and provide an entertaining night.
Circus 1903 Until January 15
Collins St Melbourne