Circus Ronaldo

Review in Issue 10-1 | Spring 1998

Circus Ronaldo is a two-hour spectacle based on the Commedia dell'Arte style. It is a family circus performed by a company whose circus dynasty dates from 1827. The present ensemble was re-established in 1971. The show is usually performed in their small three hundred seater circus tent, surrounded by antique traditional style wooden caravans. This cosy old-fashioned atmosphere was completely lost in the sterile concrete expanse of the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the South Bank.

Alongside a roly-poly man, an unattainable woman and a cowboy there are some extremely good characters. There's a buffoon comic servant who has a running gag attempting to create a puppet from a log. He carries extremely large logs through the auditorium and ends up trying to saw a woman in half. However, it is the main character who's so strong. He does everything: low tightwire walking, juggling with various objects, unicycling plate spinning, devil stick. The best routines are the Rola-Bola (a plank of wood balanced upon a cylinder that sways) and the bicycle act which begins with him racing down the stairs and tumbling into a heap with handlebars and tyres everywhere.

However, the greatest skill on show was his timeless clowning. His gentleness and playful stupidity were superbly enchanting. The loss of atmosphere and the weak performances of the other six members was a shame.

Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jan 1998

This article in the magazine

Issue 10-1
p. 24