Today’s blog marks the return of the Spiegeltent – a fantastic temporary venue in Chapelfield Gardens. It is the home to many shows, but today we are talking about A Simple Space, by internationally renown Gravity and other Myths. They are an Australian circus troupe that formed in 2009, and the award winning production they have brought to the Norfolk and Norwich Festival has been touring worldwide since 2013!
I am juggling both jobs and the NNF this year so its all a bit crazy! After a mad dash through Norwich I arrived with ten minutes to spare, and was still able to find a danger seat.
For those of you who don’t know, the Danger Seat is a seat in the front row. Often near the steps to the stage, it is the prime seat to be picked on, or to maybe even end up with a lap full of performer. NOW obviously this has never happened, but it adds a heightened level of drama to an already edge of your seat show.
And this was edge of your seat stuff! From the moment the company stepped on stage until the final bow they had the audience in the palm of their hand. I am quietly confident that I looked terrified. But it was a good terrified.
The stage becomes a playground as soon as the company step on stage, its all laughs and trust exercises that build up in speed until the acrobatics truly kick in. What is great fun is that you are laughing at their antics all the time sitting on the edge of your seat! It was a rough and (seemingly) unpolished show, with the company in regular clothes using the simplest of lighting schemes to great effect.
And the acrobatic skills on show were *fantastic*. Short scenes showing off all the varying talents of the company felt natural and fun, like they were just messing about with friends, seeing what they could achieve in the small intimate space.
Trust Games, Strip Skipping ( yes – STRIP skipping) synchronised swimming (minus any water) and a drummer who is the drum kit! Each member of the team is given their time to shine, showing off the incredible talent in new and unusual ways… including human skipping ropes!
The main thing that stood out to me about A Simple Space was how much the performers personalities shone throughout the show. Their camaraderie with the audience grew as the shocked gasps and loud applause grew – it made us feel like we were part of the show. ( in some moments, we were!) The people sitting next to me were particularly vocal, which instead of being irritating just added to the tense atmosphere.
Its easy to see why this production has been touring so long. The hour flew by so fast , I could have easily carried on watching to see what other tricks the performers had up their sleeves. I don’t know what it is in the water in Australia but they have created the best contemporary circus acts I have ever seen.
A Simple Space runs at the Adnams Spiegeltent until Sunday 26th of May and tickets are still available – FOR NOW! So book your tickets now to avoid disappointment. The Adnams Spiegeltent is a lovely place to spend the evening both before and after the show so make a long evening of it!
Ticket gifted for reviewing purposes, but production choice, thoughts and opinions are my own.