Fauna (3 stars)

Fauna

credit: Kate Pardey

Promising quintet from some of circuses leading companies

The two men and three women in this young, Sweden-based international company can claim an impressive collective pedigree, including work with the likes of Gravity and Other Myths, Seven Fingers and No Fit State Circus. They're a gifted and deliberately low-key gang, crafting a performance that's subtle but also sometimes maybe a touch too quiet and slow. During my hour in their presence my mind occasionally drifted but, for all that, there's quality and promise in what they're doing.

The show's thematic through-line is a recognition of the similarities and contrasts between human movement or behaviour and that of the animal kingdom. We first see the quintet moving diagonally, a close-knit pack taking small unison steps in a strict triangular formation. Standing side by side, they begin to shift, slightly contort and twitch as their inner beasts take over.

What ensues is a series of solos and duos featuring hand balancing, trapeze and floor work, all of it executed with an unforced confidence and concentration. Not to slight the skills or contributions of Enni-Maria Lymi, Rhiannon Cave-Walker or Imogen Huzel, but one of the most arresting segments is a dense, thoughtful duet between Matt Parquet and Daniel Cave-Walker, which could be read as an intriguing (because it's so not obvious) test of male strength and physical communication.

A big plus over-all is the mesh of electronics and guitar that musician Geordie Little provides, stationed at an upstage table. His layered work helps to shape our experience of Fauna as much as it must do for the cast.

Assembly Roxy, until 27 Aug (not 14, 21), 1.30pm, £13–£15 (£11.50–£13.50).

Fauna

  • 3 stars

Fauna in association with Aurora Nova and Follow the Rabbit A captivating exploration of primal behaviour created by performers from leading circus companies Gravity & Other Myths, NoFit State Circus, Seven Fingers and Poivre Rose. Witness the ritual of courtship, the aggression of competition, the Machiavellian…

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