Circa: Humans (4 stars)

This article is from 2017

Circa: Humans

credit: Pedro Greig

Circa is back, testing the limits of behaviour and the body

Can you lick your elbow? Have you ever tried? That might be one of the limits of human potential that Australian circus Circa has discovered in their examinations of behaviour and the body. It's a neat idea, combining clowning with the notion that there are things beyond our capabilities, that as a species we find solutions by seeking social bonds. And watching ten highly trained acrobats hop about the stage trying to do it is very funny.

For a while, Circa has been stripping back the bells and whistles of circus, but so keen are they here to prove they're just like us, you barely notice the first performer – it looks like she has wandered out of the crowd – until she strips to a coloured leotard. Like Clark Kent and Selina Kyle, these superhumans go about unnoticed. What follows is a blunt choreography of violence, tenderness, manipulation, cooperation, balance and force – yes they slam each other about but they are also there to leap forward and catch each other when a flip goes wrong. Here are humans pushing the limits of flexibility and strength and they are a marvel to watch.

Underbelly Circus Hub, until 26 Aug (not 14, 21), 7pm, £17.50–£19.50 (£16.50–£18.50).

Circa: Humans

  • 4 stars

An energetic show from Circa exploring what it means to be human.