Circomedia, Into The Deep

Review in Issue 9-3 | Autumn 1997

Into the Deep isn’t just the title of the imaginative, high energy show which Circomedia presented under a dockside canopy, close to where John Cabot set sail for North America 500 years ago. It’s also the direction in which Circomedia, the Bristol-based school for circus arts and physical theatre, is heading by adding a professional touring company to the training it provides. This is for international students who want to elevate traditional circus skills to a compelling new level.

Director, Deborah Pope, enlisted ten of the latest graduates to recreate Cabot’s journey, and their newness to live performance meant the company didn’t always grab the audience as firmly as they grabbed the ropes, balls, swings (and more) used to conjure up the voyage. What stood out, though, were the action-filled sequences when the whole cast came together, displaying dazzling skills, energy, commitment and vision. They set sail with silken sheets, with their bodies wrapped in rope and their clubs flying like seagulls. In the sea nightmare, a knife-wielding chef on roller blades encircled strange creatures who looked as if they’d stilt-walked straight out of a Dr. Seuss cartoon. When they reached dry land, a cloudburst of juggled umbrellas and ping-pong balls grabbed the audience’s attention.

It was a mesmerising spectacle with attitude. The whole was buoyed by a brilliant and original soundtrack by Australian composer Roger Mills. Into the Deep is heading for a storming success.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Date Seen
  1. Jul 1997

This article in the magazine

Issue 9-3
p. 25