Cirkopolis Festival theatre Edinburgh 2015




Cirkopolis by Cirque-Eloize can simply be summed up in one word, and that is AMAZING.  A pretty short review of last nights show then folks, but I suppose I had better expand a little bit on that.

Cirque Eloize are a multi discipline "New Circus" based in Montreal, and Cirkopolis is one of many shows put on by this innovative company since 1993 and this amazing blend of circus, theatre, dance, music and art is currently touring the UK to amazed and delighted audiences. 

The vision of this unique show is pretty much that of Artistic and Co Director Jeannot Painchaud and Co Director and Choreographer Dave St Pierre.  The theme of the show is based on two classic movies many years apart from one another - Metropolis by Fritz Lang and Brazil by Terry Gilliam.  Set against the monotony of office life ina world of grey suits and agains giant screen projections of "Metropolis" life machinery, the tedium of life is only interupted by the colour and spectacle of "The Circus"

Cirkopolis may be a fusion of many disciplines, but the basic circus approach has all the elements of traditional circus performers.  We have acrobats, jugglers, contortionists, airiel and trapeze artists, balancing acts, strongment, a bit of clowning and much much more.

The skill of the artists is at times unbelievable, and what they do happens so quickly that you really at times need a slow motion replay to actually believe what you have just seen.

For me though, the most visually stunning were performers of The Cyr Wheel and The larger German Wheel.  Without getting too techical, the Cyr Wheel is basically a big hula hoop that allows a performer to perform in and when handled by a skilled performer such as Lea Toran Jenner tonight, the wheel seems to almost be under her direct control at times. The Cyr wheel is named after its inventor (and Cirque -Eloize co- founder) Daniel Cyr.  Also on stage tonight were performers using the older German wheel which is sort of two single wheels joined together (a bit like a giant hampsters wheel - sorry guys).

Also of special mention tonight for me are contortionist and trapeze artist Maria Combarros who had a wonderful almost Gene Kelly style Hollywood style dance routing to showcase her contortionist skills in and Maude Arsenneault who provided (along with other specialist performers) some heart stopping displays on a very high Chinese Pole.

Watching strongman Ugo Laffolay balacing in the end on top of five was also amazing as he displayed amazing strenth and balance to appreciative audience.

Everyone on stage with Cirkopolis is there because they are simply amongst the very best in the world at what they do, and the way that this company show their performers skills to their very best by creating new artstic canvases from many disciplines for them to work on produces a visual as well as technically stunning performance.

This performance at The Festival Theatre was their 299th performance of Cirkopolis, so if you are reading this review today (Tuesday 2nd April) try and get along for their milestone 300th performance.  If you can not make that one, just try to get along to any of the shows left at The festival Theatre, or any still available on their UK tour.

Amazing as this show may be, this is only one small part of Cirque-Eloize.  For more information on them visit their website at


Review by Tom King


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