A Simple Space… what does that even mean? Does a simple space exist? What words immediately rush to mind when you read that three worded phrase? Emptiness… white walls… a blank canvas… silence… a setting devoid of any distractions… or maybe you envisage a completely different set up…
Situated in the not so simple space of London’s Southbank, A Simple Space sets up home in one of London’ more unconventional theatrical settings, the Udderbelly. As the title suggests, the piece revels in the fact that its crowning glory is the athletic ensemble that grace the the minimalistic raised staging. With only a couple of stage lights manipulated by the cast, audience members are left to draw their own assumptions as to the scenarios and landscapes the cast find themselves encapsulated by.
Performed by Australian circus ensemble, Gravity and Other Myths, A Simple Space exhibits a playfulness underlined with a comical competitiveness as the cast battle against one another to hold the longest handstand or to perform the most backflips. Elliot Zoerner supplies the musical accompaniment for the evening, mesmerising the audience with a spot of body percussion. The company’s staple appears to be the creation of totem pole-esque freeze frames, whereby 3 or 4 ensemble members effortlessly stand on top of one another, building up the blank canvas foundations with towering creations.
The cast brilliantly play around with levels and dynamics, performing one handed hand stands not on the ground, but on the heads of other cast members, spinning and throwing cast members across the stage without a care in the world, holding handstands whilst the audience distract the cast by throwing balls at them and skipping so quickly that the skipping rope becomes nothing but a blur, aesthetically beautiful in the space and a great way of again, building up on the blank foundations. Simon McClure, Daniel Liddiard, Lachlan Binns, Jascha Boyce, Rhiannon Cave-Walker, Jacob Randell and Triton Tunis Mitchell all go to show exactly why the ensemble have gone on to receive rave reviews, as their daring, dazzling and dizzying clutches onto the attention of the awaiting crowd! A great introduction for those that have yet to witness a circus-centric performance or a great night for all of you theatre lovers! 4/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
A Simple Space is currently showing at the Udderbelly until Sunday 24th May. For more information on the production, visit here…
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