Closer, by Circa – Udderbelly Festival, London ★★★★

Reviewed for The Reviews Hub:

One of Circa’s unique selling points is that they try to present their circus skills in a form that is infused with echoes of contemporary dance. While there may not be a dramatic storyline progressing through the various scenes, each is imbued with emotion, some of which are easier to decode than others, but all of which add to the sense of intimacy.

And the emotion extends not just between the players, but with the props: when a vertical rope is brought on stage for acrobat Lauren Herley to demonstrate her specialist skills, it is not hooked up until after it has been wound around a seated Herley, establishing itself as a character first. The effect makes her routine, which includes some exemplary rope work, feel more like a duet with the rope than a true solo performance.

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