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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Le Cirque Invisible, Southbank Centre

This summer the enchanting duo Jean-Baptiste Thierree and Victoria Chaplin returned to Southbank Centre with their wildly unique show, ‘Le Cirque Invisible’. The pair have been dazzling audiences with their creations for over 30 years and perform with a passion and enthusiasm that is quite breathtaking. Skipping through the dreariest London rain with my little sister, the brightly lit Queen Elizabeth Hall was a welcome refuge.

The production is advertised as a family show and I felt the balance had been perfected to appeal to all ages without patronising or boring any age group. Husband and wife, Jean-Baptiste and Victoria present a bizarre and amusing circus show that with very little narrative or dialogue and so must succeed purely on their talents and communication with the audience. On the whole the show works, though there were moments when the joke was so primitive and eccentric that my sister and I exchanged confused glances.

Everything is presented in a beautifully poetic way... Jean-Baptiste is the wacky joker, magician and actor, while Victoria Chaplin (incidentally Charlie Chaplin’s daughter) is an elusive dancer, acrobat and musician using simple props to remarkably transform herself into animals and dressing entirely in pots, pans and glasses playing a mesmerising tune. It is a tour de force, with these two performers frantically performing the whole show alone, except for a few rabbits and birds who arrive on stage for their camio roles, including a hilarious gaggle of geese singing in unison along with the music.

The costumes and visuals were sensational, with endless magnificent costumes and stunning lighting design. I was impressed with the extent of their imagination, with the simplest ideas amusing some audience members so much they seemed unable to stop laughing. My sister and I certainly left giggling.

Le Cirque Invisible is a whimsical spectacle that I believe will charm any audience.

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