By Alana Russo on 05 Feb 2018
Absolute pure skill minus the fan fare. Driftwood is a stunning showcase of mind blowing physical abilities that push the limits of the human body.
Just as a piece of driftwood is moved and sculpted by a flowing river, the five Casus Circus performers are moulded and shaped by their fellow cast members as they transition, seemingly effortlessly through graceful manoeuvres.
The innovative choreography within this production is world class and highlights the cohesiveness of the performers as a synchronised group.
At one point, a human ferris wheel is created, complete with moving bodies while others dive through the spaces in between with meticulous timing.
The muscle strength required to perform the choreography of this show is astounding and lifts the circus bar to the next level. Having a variety of body shapes and sizes, the performers shatter the myth that strength is based on size.
Musically the audio used was diverse and it was difficult to pin point a common theme yet, one track stood out.
The use of “Hearts a mess” covered by Katie Noonan created a beautiful sonic backdrop and a lyric within the song “I’m desperate to connect” typifies the physical and emotional connection that Driftwood convincingly conveys through human contact.
For a circus themed show there was a noticeable absence of props, mats or elaborate stage costumes.
Even though a swinging trapeze and aerial hoop where used, for most of the acts, the performers become human props to support and lift their counterparts. The minimalist approach is a bold and refreshing one that allows for the raw abilities to feature without distraction.
One highlight included an aerial stunt that involved balancing using only the top of the head on a swinging trapeze many meters above the floor. This was masterfully delivered to the amazement of the audience.
Set within the elegant Edith Speigeltent on a hot and humid summer evening, I am unlikely to be the only one who marvelled at how each daring act was delivered flawlessly; no slips, falls or missed grasps, especially given that many audience members would have been perspiring just sitting in their seats.
A suspended red lampshade descended on multiple occasions throughout the show and became a curious object that each performer would take time to explore. The light and movement of the lampshade helped to create playful moments and bring out physical theatre elements.
Several acts involved balancing upon shoulders multiple people high, nearly reaching the top of the tent, which was an excellent way to utilise the vertical space.
Given the element of risk, intricate postures and contortion it was easy to be absorbed into the performance which created delicate moments of silence and stillness.
Although there was no verbal communication from the performers during the show itself, at the finale, those present had certainly enjoyed what they had observed, responding with a roaring applause.
If you are looking for high quality circus skills and value for money, this show is not to be missed!
11 Feb 2018
The Edith Spiegeltent