Circus Maximus is Britain’s only circus acts competition, in its second year and it already shows great promise as a platform to introduce and develop new circus acts. The winners get the chance to develop their own full-length circus performance in conjunction with Underbelly Productions and the National Centre for Circus Arts and a prize of £5,000.
In the packed and slightly stifling purple cow Miss Frisky – our host and ringleader – is an apparition in a canary yellow corset, a cherry red wig and a glittery top-hat-styled fascinator. The audience drinks in hand and fans on fire, obediently and enthusiastically learns the techniques of clapping; from “golf-clapping” to “roaring”, and finally the circuses begin!
Liz Wickham, a Dr in Astrophysics no less, did not get to be an astronaut and she is reaching for the stars with her cloud swing instead; swinging, dropping, rebounding, entangling and disentangling herself with ease.
Then, come the Macmanamen, men – in – black and …. flip flops, skilled jugglers. They performed their comically cheeky routine to a Django Reinhardt guitar piece.
Up in the air once more the Clockworkkittenpig duo, spun in, out and through their aerial hoop with feline grace matching their monochrome costumes.
The acrobatic clowns Mattress Circus, three brothers from a different mother and father – as Miss Frisky put it – combined elements of acrobatics, slapstick and mime in their performance.
Finally, Will and Willy a double rope act. They tell a story of love to a melancholy piano piece, while performing heart-stopping tricks on a rope, with seamless coordination and incredible physicality.
That’s all folks! Times to cast your extremely hard vote, since most of the performances were spectacular.
While the votes were being counted, we were treated to a preview of the act last year’s winners – Louis Gift and Beren D’Amico – will be performing at the Edinburgh Fringe, this August. If you stray to Edinburgh do not miss it!
Drumroll….and the winner is…Will and Willy! Hands down the most challenging and conceptually complete act, they are definitely going places.
Looking forward to next year’s competition!
- Producer: Underbelly Productions, The National Centre for Circus Arts and IdeasTap
- Host: Miss Frisky
- Contenders: Liz Wickham, 2P - Macmanamen, Jalina - Clockworkkittenpig, Cloud Circus, Will and Willy
- Underbelly Festival, Southbank Centre, London
- Until 12th July 2014
- Time: 17.30
- Review by Katerina Yannouli
- 13th July 2014