Posted by & filed under Arts & Entertainment, Theatre & Performance.

Circus performer and director James Thierree returns to Sydney Festival with Tabac Rouge, his fourth and arguably most extravagant and enthralling performance yet.

Set in a turn of the century kingdom, a broken and disillusioned ruler sinks deeper into depression as he struggles to distinguish between reality and his increasingly volatile fantasy. Surrounded by his loyal companions, some encourage his fantasy’s to evolve, while others discourage it, suppressing his adventurous soul.

Thierre’s distinct choreography combines dance, acrobatics and pantomime that is unlike anything else. The set a construction of mirrors, pipes, cogs and instruments, simultaneously moves and weaves with the performers. This harshly surreal environment is matched by a soundtrack that reverberates through the theatre and into the audience’s chest. Speaking only gibberish and contorting their bodies, the performers are often unrecognisable as human. Still, they communicate a dark and tragic tale that is moving, humorous and relevant.

Until Jan 23, Sydney Theatre, Hickson Rd, Walsh Bay, $85-119, 02 9250 1777, sydneyfestival.org.au