CircusFest 2014: Beta Testing at the Roundhouse
With obvious skill, seemingly moderate concentration and a true passion for their craft, the Circus Geeks explore the mystery but maintain the magnetism of juggling at Camden’s Roundhouse in North London.
Featuring the dynamic talents of Aaron Sparks, Jon Udry and Matt Pang, the trio are absorbing as they fuse masterful juggling techniques with creative visual design and suspenseful mood music. Demonstrating an array of styles with the Juggling Slang Lexicon – from Old School to Kamikaze – or presenting tactics on how to perfect a preferred routine, their creative and analytical strategy for success is fairly engaging.
But while their performance is overall visually appealing, the storytelling is somewhat weak. With drawn-out monologues about a personal love for an art form that may not be overtly shared, their material can seem disconnected from the audience and dry in some respects.
The diverse personas brought to the stage by each individual at this intimate studio theatre are simple and entertaining, providing a genuinely thought-provoking insight into the world of circus performance. Udry is poised and refined as he opens the act with three and a half minutes straight of five-ball juggling. His animated facial expressions and playfully antagonistic remarks add greater comedy to what can be a slow piece at times.
Sparks coolly lectures as he manages a golden football and two tees in hand, jumping about, throwing and catching without even touching the ball, speaking as calmly and eloquently as if he were sitting and enjoying a cup of tea. Their level of concentration as they multitask through the rest of their show is remarkable but it’s Pang on the unicycle that really gets your heart racing. His ability to make the ordinary seem quite extraordinary make this production one worth checking out.
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages: let the show begin!
Photo: Stuart Leech
Beta Testing is on at the Roundhouse until 26th April 2014, for further information or to book visit here.