29-31 January 2016
Reviewed by Debbie Lowndes
My husband and I were selected to conduct a review of Moscow State Circus. The venue for this review was Buxton Theatre.
Our thoughts on the theatre.
We arrived in Buxton and the snow was falling rapidly, we were praying that it would stop so that we did not have to turn around, thankfully it stopped just before the performance began. We located the theatre very easily and were able to park close to the theatre, it’s also free of charge to park. Once parked up we had a little time to spare before the performance. We decided to take advantage of this and popped for a drink in the public house opposite the theatre. We made our way to the theatre just after 7pm and went to the booking office to collect our tickets. The ticket assistant was very pleasant, made us feel welcoming and she made polite conversation. We were pointed in the direction of the stalls and asked if we wished to purchase a programme. We made our way to our seats, we were sat within the stalls. Our seats were close to the stage (row H), we were sat on the aisle. The seats were comfortable and offered plenty of leg room. Even though it was an extremely cold evening the theatre itself was adequately heated. We sat in our seats and eagerly awaited the performance. Whilst sitting we took a moment or two study the magnificent architecture of the building the gold and cream decorate was amazing. The building oozes character and the ceiling is definitely something for Buxton to be proud of. My husband and I both used the toilets during our visit they were adequately stocked with toilet paper, hand soap etc. They were clean and we did not have to wait overly long to utilise the facility. My husband used the toilet prior to the performance and I made us to the toilet during the interval. At the interval we also used the bar area for a drink, the alcoholic beverages were reasonably priced. You could also purchase non-alcohol drinks, hot beverages, ice creams, boiled sweets, chocolates, nuts and crisps. Once again all reasonable priced. They had super offer on crisps, three packets for one pound, this is an absolute steel!!!
Prior to the curtain rising a Russian professor clown was mixing with the audience and getting the banter going. The curtain rose and the entertainment commenced. First on stage was a cleaner, I think you would also class her as a clown, she was very entertaining and funny. The story behind the circus now began to unravel. ‘Zhelaniy’ is based on the Russian folklore story of a flower with seven colours. Each colour represents a wish and the circus was undoubtedly the greatest backdrop for the circus performance. The girl making the wishes used then all for herself bar the end one which she decided to use to help someone needier, a boy who had broken his leg. The first main act was an aerial display by a single ballerina making use of red silks to create skilful and delightful display. The performance just kept coming as the story developed, the acts were a horizontal spring board with two males holding each end of the board and one male springing on the board performing amazing flips and jumps, a team of skilful spring boarders doing amazing jumps over each other and onto each other’s shoulders, this was highly entertaining and amusing. A low wire walker, who was once again amazing, not sure how she managed to stay on the thin wire as she performed splits on the wire, one legged balances, jumps etc. There were bobbin throwers who juggled the bobbins on wire whilst performing leap frogs etc. and still managed to catch the bobbins before it hit the ground!! They lit the bobbins and juggled them and high speed throwing and catching them from the air, this was a high speed talented act. In between acts you remained entertained by the cleaner and the professor clown. The also got one guy from the audience involved in their little sketches, they made him a cleaner too and dressed him in the same attire as the cleaner at one point, this was entertaining and hilarious.
After the interval the first act was the witting professor clown on a trampoline. He had to climb some steps to get to the trampoline and he entertained the audience and had them all in stitches whilst climbing he steps and using the trampoline, he was falling over, bumping and banging himself, his trousers were falling off etc. It was so funny you heard people belly laughing and the children were laughing out loud. It was a great act. This act was followed by the more amazing roller skaters, they did some amazing spins. The skating team consisted of two males and two females, the males spun the females and held onto them by just their legs, heads etc. I had you with your heart in your mouth at times. Again this was a great act and I am certain it would have taken a huge amount of practise. The next act was like a street dance scene with tin barrels with graffiti and lights, the team consisted four, they danced, juggled and flipped. The used skittles to juggle, they were effective as they lit up in bright colours to make the scene look enough more funky. The stage looked very colourful throughout this performance, once again a team of very talented individuals. The second to last wish was for a large bubble which would never burst. The witty professor clown used a large bubble maker a produced the odd floating bubble which obviously burst. Then a large clear floating globe appeared (suspended within the air) and the girl making the wishes climbed inside and preformed some professional acrobatic moves suspended in mid-air. The globe was fully closed at times and they she would perform things like splits. The globe would open and she would be suspended in mid-air, with her support at times just being her legs. At one point she was just support by her feet and she was dangling upside down head first, she was amazing and I was totally mesmerised. The final wish was one which she gave to help someone else, she wished that a boy with a broken leg could be pain free and walk again. The last act involved the girl and boy floating in mid-air with the only support being silks, again one magical performance of outstanding quality.
The circus was a mixture throughout of aerial divas, acrobatics, amusing sketches, you did not have any time space to become bored. I could not take my eye off the performance from start to first. This circus is definitely one of the most professional and captivating ones that I have ever seen.
Thrilling and truly amazing, I will definitely go and see them again.
Moscow State Circus is currently touring the UK with Zhelaniy, for more information and tour dates visit www.moscowstatecircus.co.uk.
For other shows at the Buxton Opera House visit www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk.
Buxton Opera House, Water Street, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 6XN | 0845 127 2190