Moscow State Circus

Moscow State Circus

Park Gorkogo

Theatre Severn

It is a brave artist who will walk onto the stage to appear under such an auspicious title as the Moscow State Circus. You have to be the best in the world to continue such a holy name in the map of circus performance.

So that said I can promise a reasonably mixed review with some highlights and one or two lowlights too.

Firstly aesthetically the stage was not as lavish as one might imagine with just a prosaic backcloth of the famous Kremlin Towers. I suspect painted by one of the parents in a free weekend. That said with space being of such a premium they were well advised not to clutter it with useless scenery.

Whilst the auditorium began to fill Professor Wacko was wondering around the first three rows of the stalls saying hello and cracking jokes. All seemed amused by him and time passed.

The show started with Professor Wacko and his dubious opo The Park Cleaner,  in a not very engaging opening scene. The sidekick character was slightly unsettling and hovered on the borderline of not wanted on voyage to mildly useful.  Based on some kind of beleaguered park Keeper said character would amble on at times and thus turned the wheels of the show.

Dispensing with the traditional ringmaster the Parky and the Professor kept us mildly amused as the scenes changed. It did turn out that both were consummate Circus performers and it might not hurt to leave them to concentrate on that.

So after the opening set in Gorky Park, as the name suggests, it was the turn of the hand balancer. I imagine this guy could open coconuts with his teeth; the strength that his act took was astonishing.

Then along came a wonderful array of stunts and skills that left you in no doubt you were watching the best there is.

The highlight of an astounding first half was a girl hoisted to the skies in a Perspex globe and all the tricks that scenario might present. She was amazing and for the guys in the audience maybe even mildly erotic. But it was a show that could operate on many levels making sure there was something for everyone.

To quote the football pundits it was a show of two halves. One could have been forgiven for thinking during the juggling act which started the second act that, maybe a show operating at such a level of magnificence might not drop the juggling balls. But with the day-glow Indian club throwing act, that happened several times and seemed just a little clumsy. Had they not been The Moscow State Circus one might be tempted to forgive them that but they were the Moscow State Circus and maybe it shouldn’t happen.

However that said it didn’t detract from the audience's thrill at the show as the finale went on to prove.

To see a Russian circus performer exit stage left at 100 miles an hour thirty foot off the ground cannot be topped. Stunning and quite surprising to see. So any inconsistencies in the second half were forgiven and forgotten as  the audience were once again left, aghast and open mouthed at just what the human body can do.

This was a great show a spectacle if you like; and the awkward editing of the soundtrack for the second half was punctuated by extreme changes in tempo or style of music and occasionally, that jarred. Seg-ways that Dave Double Decks might have been responsible for in the middle of the Nineteen Seventies village hall disco. One can only imagine that the tracks had been taken from a bigger show and instead of blending the track changes they clonked clumsily onto each other.

But a great time was had by all and MSC dished up two hours of great entertainment and hands still sore form applauding I am reflecting on what was overall a good show.

To stay with the Nineteen Seventies simile, as Boney M would say…..Oh those Russians.

 

This is a four star review

Owen Lewis

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Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet.

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