Fringe preview: The Elephant in the Room
Circus meets film noir with Cirque Le Roux
This article is from 2015.
It’s 1937, and a rich young woman is enjoying her wedding reception. Slipping away from her guests, she joins three men in a smoking lounge in a secluded part of her estate. Who are they and why is this new bride here, in this smoky, monochrome world?
As a set-up for a film noir, it’s perfect. As a circus show, it’s less obvious – which is what makes Cirque Le Roux stand out from the crowd. A group of four artists, who have performed with several circus companies around the world, as well as an award-winning stint on Broadway, they felt that film noir ideally suited their purposes.
‘It was the perfect outlet for us to delve into complex human relationships and the ways people go about hiding from the truth,’ says performer Philip Rosenberg. ‘We also tried to tap into circus and theatrical disciplines that were popular in the early 20th century that have since been nearly forgotten. Our aim was to create a seamless blend of high-level circus, film and theatre, infused with comedy and style.’
Rosenberg and the team wanted to create ‘the aesthetic of a dusty black and white postcard’, and took inspiration from the charismatic actors of Hollywood’s golden age. Underpinning that, is their own hard-won skill, gathered from years of circus school training, and touring with some of the world’s finest companies.
‘This show is essentially a melting pot of working with all of those companies in our past,’ says Rosenberg. ‘In circus you find a different artistic viewpoint in each company, and we have been fortunate enough to have experienced many of them. The goal was to unite these styles into one show that could touch people from wherever they come from.’
Underbelly’s Circus Hub, 0844 545 8252, 8–29 Aug (not 12, 17, 24), 8.35pm, £14.50--£15.50 (£13.50--£14.50). Preview 7 Aug, 8.35pm, £12.