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Circus Ronaldo – Amortale

Queen Elisabeth Hall at the Southbank Centre, London


Circus Ronaldo has transformed Queen Elisabeth Hall into a circus fairground and as the esteemed members of the audience take their seats, they are entertained by the troupe with Belle Époque ditties, arias and acrobatics that tend to go awry one way or another. We are given vivid instructions as to what might happen should we smoke, use flash or play with our phones during the performance, and as for unattended children “they will be taken by the circus and sold in the next town”.

Despite the ambitious announcement of the ringmaster that we will be treated to a performance of the classics, be it from equipment failure or petty antagonisms or plain ineptitude, chaos ensues and laughter. And in the middle of it all the cantankerous peddler of the Pinocchio collection – £50 apiece.

In Amortale, Circus Ronaldo uses elements of sets and marionettes that first appeared on stage before the First World War and the whole performance is simple and low-tech, just like one would be on the turn of the 20th century. They embellish slapstick comedy with puppetry, acrobatics, opera and clowning, and offer a light-hearted, simple and funny spectacle to the audience, while occasionally setting themselves on fire.

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