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Review | Driftwood: Circus at its most intimate

Driftwood | The Edith Spiegeltent | Til Feb 11 | ★ ★ ★ ★ ½

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Driftwood is a performance for the touch starved. Intimate, comfortable, and endlessly fascinated with the human body, Casus Circus has given us the performance equivalent of a tight hug on an isolated beach.

Driftwood is physical theatre to an exceptional soundtrack (I was very pleased to find the track listing on their website). Whether the performers are worshipping or ass-waving, every act is an exploration for both those on stage and those looking to it.

There isn’t a moment in Driftwood that I felt as though the performers were showing off. They seem just as fascinated as the audience in pushing the human body, such that we have an intimate connection with them rarely seen in circus acts. The opening tears away at the performers and from that movement everything is rendered a private curiosity.

Circus Casus has also incredibly managed to create a circus act entirely devoid of gendered roles. Whilst each member of the troupe has their specialties, they seem uninterested with conventions of who does what, and it follows to an exceptional show.

What is stopping Jon Bonaventura from clambering over his fellow performers, or be tossed around alongside his female counterparts? Why shouldn’t Abbey Church, still flirting with femininity, hold the rest of her five man troupe off the ground by herself? Why the hell is a female male pair considered ‘balanced’ onstage anyway?

The sets themselves range quite a bit, but are consistent in their fluidity and activity. You can’t look away, part for the wonder and part for the speed at which tricks are performed. Except nothing in this show feels like a trick. There’s no pause for the audience to process how incredible each act is, no moment of gloating you never even realise is in many circus acts until it’s gone.

Casus builds a world where clowning is a combination of physical humour, gentleness, and what I can only describe as ‘playful homo’. A world where aerial acts feel less like they’re about entertainment and more like a private seduction of a moon goddess. Every moment is a secret passed to the audience in confidence.

In the close quarters and unique tents of Fringe World, Driftwood is the perfect breathe of fresh sea air.

Buy your tickets to Driftwood from the Fringe World website.  

Annique Cockerill

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