Super Sunday, Circusfest, The Roundhouse, review: ‘Modern, playful circus’

Super Sunday was the first show at Circusfest at The Roundhouse. Picture: Petter Hellman

Super Sunday was the first show at Circusfest at The Roundhouse. Picture: Petter Hellman - Credit: Archant

Super Sunday, part of Circusfest at The Roundhouse, may be modern and playful, but it captures the spirit and spinning chaos of traditional Big Top circus.

The scene is set on a languid, sun-soaked fairground, with a dusty spotlight focused on an iron carousel.

Six men shuffle along the floor on horses to dramatic music – a self-depreciating, surreal start to impressive individual performances.

The Race Horse Company performers are casual men in board shorts and faded T-shirts, who tease one another and build-up a sense of seaside camaraderie.

Acts are pared-down, with men taking on the roles of clowns, set changers, strongmen and high-flying acrobats spiralling off the stage. They are dancers, dare devils and chaos-makers –always slightly out-of-step.

Performer Petri Tuominem, dresses as a teddy bear and becomes the unwilling prop of fairground-inspired tricks.

The giant teddy bear runs into the audience, but he is trapped by the unusually strong fairground staff who effortlessly send him up into the air. Odilon Pindat performs his acts with the greatest flair – the funniest and most self-deprecating, he dresses up in a skin tight gymnastic costume to attach himself to a seesaw contraption and flies up through the air. There are moments of pure joy and surprise. The performers jump on trampolines -– and suddenly, out of nowhere, hundreds of coloured balls surround them as they go up and down. And in another bizarre scene, the men, dressed in white robes, carry a cross around the stage with tall candles blown out to reveal cellophane wraps.

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Tricks are impressive - including a barefoot march through huge elevated circles – but humour and whimsical set design mark out the performance.

Rating: 4/5 stars.