Crying Out Loud presents Flown
Roguish circus send-up with masterful aerials
This article is from 2013.
It takes a certain amount of precision to choreograph disaster, as circus company Pirates of the Carabina demonstrates in this crafty deconstruction and affectionately silly send-up of the circus world. Dolled-up clown Gwen Hales keeps trying to steal the show, hoop-artist Shaena Brandel hasn't finished ironing her costume, and lights are liable to tumble down at any second. But of course things aren't what they seem and in fact Hales is very far from the amateur she impersonates on pulleys and silks, Brandel's ironing board is full of grace as it dangles off her foot, and those lights know their cues.
So subtle is the shift between deadpan comedy and wild capering, it's sometimes difficult to spot where the transitions come, and the balance isn't always well judged. However, in the show's softer segments Laura Moy's swinging Chinese pole is simply exquisite, and the art of counterweighting has a well-deserved moment of glory when the counterweight shares a mid-air kiss with Brandel on her flying hoop. As far as this roguish pack of pirates is concerned, it's all about the teamwork.
Underbelly Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, until 26 Aug (not 20), 4.20pm, £12.50–£13.50 (£11.50–£12.50).