Shelter Me at Theatre Delicatessen
From the innovative Circumference Circus, Shelter Me is an intimate, immersive, multi-dimensional performance piece that brings together music, acrobatics, theatre, dance and circus. A large part of the concept is about being connected with the power of technology. With the buddy system, the audience is given the phone number of a fellow viewer and asked to get to know them throughout the evening. How the relationship develops is down to them. In direct contradiction to general theatre policy, talking is actively encouraged and phones are requested to be kept on throughout, as part of the show is played out on those screens.
The enthusiasm of each performer is infectious and this works perfectly to break down the social barriers notorious of London. The audience is prompted to get involved not only with one another, but with the performance as well. They are led by hand through the space and asked to hold props or help support acrobats as they perform parkour moves in the reception area.
The troupe make full use of every nook and cranny of Theatre Delicatessen, both inside and out. So much attention to detail has gone into creating atmospheric scenes that are designed to place the audience in the midst of the action. At times, they are pulled together in the almost claustrophobic proximity of a makeshift kitchen, while at others there’s the freedom to wander and explore. The grand finale takes place upon the roof and, as you wait for everyone to arrive, there’s an opportunity to observe the breathtaking view of the city skyline.
The mixture of art forms and talent is intended to amuse and bemuse. Precarious balancing acts and free-flying acrobats induce nervousness to the untrained eye, and it is perhaps the light-hearted ease with which the stunts are performed that further attests to the performers’ abilities. They are also artists, with care and thought going into the design of the space, the music chosen, lighting and props. Though there is no linear story; in 90 brisk minutes we go on a journey with both the performers and ourselves. In the simple task of getting to know a stranger, or working with a group of people to make a cup of coffee, inhibitions are released and the sense of experiencing this together creates an unbreakable bond.
Shelter Me is on at Theatre Delicatessen until 5th July 2015, for further information or to book visit here.