Underbelly review: Sassy, cheeky and playful Circa's Peepshow - sweet dreams are made of this
You leave feeling like you've experienced something like a strange but comforting dream; sweet, sassy and definitely sparkling with spectacle.
A combination of dance tumbles and seemingly impossible acrobatics Circa's Peepshow has more about it than just human daring, physical ability and skill.
Moments akin to an interpretative movement piece suggest - at different times - metamorphosis, mechanical breakdown or something from natural the world.
Sometimes an individual, sometimes performed collectively like one organic mass, interweaving the dance-like movements with small but impressive physical feats that might build to something quite spectacular that has the audience astonished.
Sassy and sexy
Throughout the show is injected with a sassiness, a sexiness but also something that is cheeky, playful and innocent.
The pace varies. There are beautiful gliding movements forming static shapes that feel at home in the natural world but incongruous with the human body that is creating them.
Faster piece exudes muscular energy often coupled with an almost bolshy rough and tumble, bodies hitting the stage with such crashes as to draw sharp intakes of breath from those watching.
Masculine and feminine stereotypes get challenged in the pace, type of movement and dress with androgynous outfits or both genders wearing the same.
There is hoop and rope work, static trapeze and a little juggling but where Circa excel is in their self-assembly human towers.
Sometimes they climb delicately and precariously into position, sometimes they throw, catch and leap.
At lower levels, they can be a tangle of muscular strength holding positions at impossible angles.
Higher towers are like tiers on a wedding cake with an acrobatic answer to an artistic flourish on top.
Sinew stretching holds
It could be a precarious, sinew stretching hold or a jump or swing or throw.
There is a beauty in the teamwork, the trust between performers and fun and humour in their playfulness.
The show is bookended by two different covers of Eurythmic's Sweet Dreams and so you leave the Underbelly's Spiegel Tent feeling like you've experienced something like a strange but comforting dream; sweet, sassy and definitely sparkling with spectacle.
Circa's Peepshow is at the Underbelly Festival on the South Bank until August 18. The show is 70 minutes long without an interval.