A world champion BMX Flatlander, two champion break dancers, an internationally acclaimed basketball freestyler, a world-renowned cyr wheel artist, a UK champion beatboxer and a master percussionist? According to the blurb, that is the line-up. But what does it all mean? Your ageing reviewer has little street credibility, while this show connects the street with the élite! Well, your reviewer may not be among the élite, but at least he now knows what all those words mean, having seen artists at the peak of perfection put those words into action (okay, he did know what a percussionist was already).
360 degrees? That’s a lot of rotation. Prince Charles only needed three. But all 360 of them are on display in a non-stop succession of jaw-dropping feats of strength, agility, dexterity and bravado, driven along by the hip-hop beat of the soundtrack, the live drums and video projections, with quickfire commentary by a rapper. Although presented in a big top, this is not the circus we are used to. But it packs so much into one short hour, that you will feel you have had a full evening’s entertainment.
There is an added bonus – no social distancing or mask-wearing in force. What a joy to be again among a crowd of strangers, all in a good mood, on a warm midsummer’s evening, having a drink outside before and after the show! The opportunity at last to do what comes to us naturally, to participate fully in a shared experience, not mediated through a computer screen.
And there is plenty more to do at the Wonderground. The Underbelly with its famous upside-down purple cow (the Udderbelly) has moved from its usual summer location on London’s South Bank, but most of its customary attractions have come with it to Earl’s Court. There is an excellent show in the other big tent, The Choir of Man, which kicks off just after the Allstars finish their performance at 8 o’clock. So you could watch an amazing double bill. Besides, the big tents are in the middle of a fairground, with dodgems, wave-swinger, shooting range, lots of food and drink, and even an inland beach, with deckchairs on the sand from where you can watch the imaginary waves roll in! Just use your imagination – if it hasn’t been zonked by the 360 Allstars …