CircusFest 2014: Puffball at the Roundhouse
An intimate exploration of sexual identity, gender and relationships from the maker of The Fat Girl Gets a Haircut, Puffball is a fierce ballet of colour, self-expression and passion> It brims with daring acrobatics and artistry, combining both world-class circus performers with fearless newcomers to create a visual fairyland that is hard not to connect with.
Composed as a collaborative outlet for young members of the LGBTQ community to explore their experiences, Puffball has an air of raw honesty that rings through the elaborate set pieces. Delving into the darker side of relationships with the use of jelly, flour, fire and other glorious visuals the show is a cross between the fun and frolics of a Lady Gaga video and the eerie paintings of Francis Bacon.
Set to a sophisticated, largely improvised score, the show presents a dreamlike world, taking the audience on a journey of elegant movement, charming parody and subversive culture. Many of the performers shine during solo pieces: a tender duet between two male acrobats is particularly moving, though it is when the performers come together as a mismatched mass of energy that the show really comes to life. A sequence involving the whole cast and a collection of suspended bathtubs is bursting with fun and vibrancy, a sure highlight of the performance.
Although part CircusFest and boasting some impeccably talented circus performers, what makes Puffball special is its raw and fearless cast of LGBTQ amateurs who have found ways to take negative experiences and express them in new and profound ways. Many of them having never performed before have dealt with their demons onstage, creating visually explosive theatre.
Overflowing with ideas and creativity, Puffball is a tantalising show and a feast for the senses, sure to surprise and enchant.
Puffball is on at the Roundhouse until 27th April 2014, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch a sneak preview of Puffball here: