Compagnie Jérôme Thomas, Cirque Lili

Review in Issue 16-3/4 | Autumn 2004

Cirque Lili takes place in a beautiful yurt-like freestanding tent. The wooden interior, wooden stage and wooden seats give the show an instant atmosphere. Luckily the performance is not remotely wooden. Jérôme Thomas presents a show inspired by characters and acts from the classic circus era. He modernises them into one man’s portrayal of the various characters, all performed through movement, dance and juggling. He’s accompanied by Jean-Francois Baez on accordion, and saxophone by John-Charles Richard. Giving a real trad feel, the ring boy is played by Christophe Pilven.

Thomas’ characters begin with the magician and a feather manipulated in a slow and playful manner. He then does something with a stick and drops it, plummeting into the ‘juggler’s trap’. Instead of acknowledging the drop that we all saw, he rushes to hide it, with a bad attitude too. It happened several times during the show and for a man considered to be the greatest contemporary French Juggler it is inexcusable and annoying to watch.

Other characters were the strongman with two boules, a clown who was playful yet aggressive, blatant and far too sweaty to lie across members of the audience. There was a lion-tamer with three giant balloons, and a cloth, table and broom, together with a rotating stage, gave the illusion of a horse act. The show-stealer was not Thomas at all, but the ring boy who had to clear the stage of props. Not enough hands and too many props, lots of drops and many laughs.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Jul 2004

This article in the magazine

Issue 16-3/4
p. 26