For this show, seven highly skilled acrobats, Nathan Boyle, Rhiannon Cave-Walker, Kimberley O’Brien, Luke Thomas, Alice Muntz, Billie Wilson-Coffey and Scott Grove, working with minimal props and very minimal costumes, but armed with a repertoire of jaw-dropping acrobatics, enthralled their audience with their sheer physicality, skill and panache.
Peepshow is presented in two acts, the first of which is light-hearted and cheeky, performed to an engaging techno soundtrack, with the performers smartly costumed in uni-sex, ruffled-collared white shirts and glittery black trunks.
A simple sophisticated setting of a silver fringe curtain allows the performers to appear and disappear when not required on stage to perform some gravity-defying stunt or support a colleague in another. Above the curtain, a neon sign spells out the name of the show.
The performers introduce themselves in a tightly choreographed mirror-imaging routine. As with previous Circa presentations, Peepshow is proudly ensemble, with the performers physically supporting each other, regardless of sex, as required by the complicated acrobatics which often elicited audible gasps from the audience.
A couple of beefy blokes do the heavy lifting for routines in which colleagues balance on their shoulders to perform seemingly impossible contortions and balances. Elsewhere the ladies flaunt their femininity in cute, clever routines involving lots of red gloves and a confusion of body parts.
Among the tightly choreographed ensemble routines there is space for each performer to show off specialities, among them an eye-watering trapeze routine in which a performer hangs by her heels, chin, and neck.
The mood changes for the second half of the show. The music, the lighting and some of the acts, become darker, even menacing at times. However the skill level is no less enthralling with each performer pushing their body to such seemingly impossible limits that the audience is kept on tenterhooks as to what that limit might be.
Despite its cheeky title, and the brevity of some of its costumes, Peepshow is a cleverly conceived and brilliantly executed show which is unlikely to raise an eyebrow of anyone interested in experiencing imaginatively-packaged, world-class acrobatics.
Canberra Theatre – Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra
Performance: Wednesday 4 November 2020 – 8.00pm
Season continues to 6 November 2020
For more information, visit: www.circa.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of Circa
Review: Bill Stephens OAM