LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS... welcome to the big top blog of Douglas McPherson, author of CIRCUS MANIA, the book described by Gerry Cottle as "A passionate and up-to-date look at the circus and its people."

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Has the new worn off new circus? Michael Billington of the Guardian gives La Soiree a lukewarm review

La Soiree

Do you prefer old circus or new? Reviewing the circus-cabaret-burlesque hybrid La Soiree - now in its tenth season in a Speigeltent on  London's Southbank - the Guardian's Michael Billington found himself missing the older style of circus:

"I loved the show’s more daring physical acts. But, although people deride the old-style circus for its exploitation of animals and variety theatre for its tat, they both had a poetry and grace somewhat lacking in this frenetically kaleidoscopic spectacle."

Could it be that 24 years after Cirque du Soleil first visited London, the new is wearing off new circus and the pendulum of taste is swinging back to the traditional sawdust ring?

Read the Guardian's review here.

And for a journey through all the many styles of circus in the UK today - including traditional big top shows with tigers and elephants; circus and ice-skating spectaculars; the cringe-inducing Circus of Horrors; the Butlins-based Cirque du Hilarious; the Speigeltent-set contemporary circus of Circa; and the ancient eastern wonders of the Chinese State Circus - read Circus Mania - The Ultimate Book For Anyone Who Dreamed of Running Away with the Circus.

Click here to read the reviews.

1 comment:

  1. One thing for sure the older circus had more of was VARIETY.

    I do think, from here in the U.S. Cirque du Soleil has lost some of its edge, with a weakening of quality of acts and increasing allusions to narrative and abstract body movement, all of which tend towards an air of desperation. The new CDS show Kurios is said by some to reverse the downward trend. In time, though, the public may well come to appreciate what has been lost, not least of which animal acts. It is a story in progress.