There could not be a more fitting stage to set Knee Deep than the Sydney Festival’s famous Spiegeltent. The other-worldliness of the temporary structure’s mirrors, murals and stained glass windows is a perfect compliment to the Casus Circus troupe’s bespoke performance style, reminiscent of a bygone bohemian era.
There is a mesmerising quality to the way the small troupe of performers – three men and one woman – work together to combine their skills, strength and individual body builds to create an intriguing performance. The audience were often left to scoop their jaws back up off the ground, and at times audibly recoiling from moments of slapstick and shock.
With only the simplest of props, there is a certain charm to the showmanship the group engages in their skilful acts. Glass bottles are engaged in surprising acrobatic feats, along with a four-inch nail driven up a nose, an upside down mid-air origami feat, and even a human body used as a drum. But it is the excitement they bring to the delicate art of egg balancing that really steals the show!
There is nothing run-of-the-mill about this acrobatic performance. While acts of this nature are often combined into pseudo-erotic burlesque atmospheres, Knee Deep retains its cool, playful (and even flirtatious) nature without ever stepping into territory too racy for younger audiences.
This show would make a great introduction to acrobatic or circus performance for children (ages 8+ recommended), but don’t let its all-ages factor turn off adult audiences either. This is a celebration of the expressiveness of the human form and the impeccable discipline of the performers, with a dash of eccentricity. (AM)
Until Jan 26, various times. The Famous Spiegeltent, Hyde Park North, entry near Archibald Fountain. $36-$40+b.f. (Family Pass $120+b.f.) Tickets & info: sydneyfestival.org.au/2016/knee-deep