Underbelly's Circus Hub
The circus portion of the Fringe programme is often the part that excites me most. I have no memory of ever being let down by a circus show. So to say that I went to Circus-Cision with a high degree of expectation was an understatement.
Circus-Cision describes itself at a late night circus variety show, trying to blend impressive acrobatic performances with comedy and clowning. Many of the acts are performing at other shows throughout the Fringe so this became an advertisement as much as it was a linear performance.
The show started with much promise, four of the artists performing beautiful, incredible feats of strength and agility. The acrobatic acts continued in the same vein, and I experienced the usual sense of awe at how these performers could manipulate their bodies. The highlights for me were an odd man called Mr Fish and a strip tease performed on a Cyr Wheel, an impressive human sized hoop that must take incredible amounts of strength and coordination to pull off (did I just make an unintentional pun? I'm not sure.)
The latter act was genuinely funny, impressive and entertaining. There were audible whoops and gasps coming quickly one one after the other. But then, at the end of the performance, I realised why I did not enjoy the show as much as I wanted to. It had a floppy willy.
I do not just mean this literally, although we were treated to a visual smorgasbord by the end of the evening. Maybe I am ill educated but I always thought that half the fun of a strip tease is the unknown. The unknown can make you shiver with antici...*
But when the host ran on stage, tapped the guys butt and made him 'accidentally' show off his floppy willy to the crowd, the illusion was ruined. Floppy willies are not a draw; no man or woman really gets excited by that prospect, and we have all seen them before...
And the show was sometimes let down by this phenomenon. Many acts had a comedic element but they too often reverted to humour that was or a bit lazy. No boundaries were pushed to make it worthwhile and there were a few too many jokes that were only funny dependent on the amount of alcohol you had consumed. While this did not ruin the performance for me, they just felt like a bit of a let down.
Circus-Cision is a good show, but I would prefer to see these individual acts in their own shows over a longer period of time. As such, it is a cross between a Peregrine Falcon and an Archaeopteryx. The circus stuff was really impressive, but most of the jokes were nothing new. Click here for my rating system.