Cirque Éloize, Excentricus

Review in Issue 12-3 | Autumn 2000

In Cirque Éloize’s Excentricus, the troupe of performers and musicians is unabashedly directed to charm and entertain the audience in a high-energy and at times extraordinary and unrelenting display of comedy and skill. Indeed, the routines are so accomplished that the edge comes in the time-honoured circus tradition of sheer physical strength, precision, discipline and danger. Audience gasps and the odd loud and free expression of expletives can be heard around the auditorium.

The simple narrative revolves around the different relationships between the characters and the audience. There are gentle nods to romance. The one dark moment teeters on the verge of being heavy-handed, if not unnecessary, but a well-directed reserve from the performers prevents a lapse into self-indulgence and instead paves the way for a spectacular display of ensemble work, including eight people on a bicycle.

Within this magnificent exhibition of group work there is a star in the central clown character. He wonderfully manipulates a deliberately drawn-out moment where he fails and fails again – and then again and again – to pick up a large number of clubs. His slackrope routine is hysterical and almost unbearable to watch, especially for the children in the audience practically wetting themselves with the torture of it.

I would think that Cirque Éloize’s charm may conceal the high level of skill and the very real sense of danger that accompanies it from the more cynical and ‘adult’ audience members out for some sophisticated theatrical grit. For those still young at heart it is unashamedly enjoyable.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Aug 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-3
p. 26