Inside Out was the nicest surprise I’'ve had in a long time

Review: Inside out feat. Irya’s Playground
Cirkus Cirkor At The Peacock Theatre

I’m happy to say that Cirkus Cirkör’s Inside Out was the nicest surprise I’ve had in a long time.

What makes Inside Out different from any other circus show is the personality, humour and purpose which has clearly gone into every detail. It’s obvious that every aspect of the show has been thoughtfully crafted, from the skilled acrobatics and quirky humour to the spectacular but often simple sets. It doesn’t take long for even the most sceptical of audience members to relax when they realise that nobody is going to be pulling any rabbits out of dusty hats.

The performers themselves all proved beyond a doubt that they deserved their place in the show. Despite the range of different skills displayed in their individual acts, all performed with fluidity and beauty, pulling off impressive acts of skill and strength with ease. However, what had the strongest effect on me was the story which was so successfully woven into the show. Where other circus shows suffer from a lack of cohesiveness between their acts, every act in this show gets tied back to the story, thereby demonstrating a sense of purpose for what you are watching.

While there was only minimal dialogue, the poignant portrayals powerfully conveyed the often raw emotions of the simple story, yet managed to leave you with a message which was ultimately a hopeful one. The fantastic sets only enhanced the storytelling, with simple visualisations and giant props successfully conveying an internal struggle with heart and mind.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that this show is only for serious folk who want something deep – the more emotionally-charged pieces are well balanced with humourous, high-energy acts that keep the progression of the show at a crowd-pleasing pace.

The true atmosphere of the show comes in the form of live music from Swedish alternative rock band Irya’s Playground who are just as impressive visually as they are musically (think My Chemical Romance if they went and played in the sun for a bit). Whether it’s with beautifully pensive vocals or with a manic, comedy-injected drum solo, the band is an integrated part of the show and does nothing but enhance whatever is happening on stage at the time.

In general, this is a show which circus-lovers will want to see more than once, and which even the most sceptical of people will be happy they took a chance on. Could anything have made it better? Well on second thoughts I suppose candy floss wouldn’t have been such a terrible idea.