Circus spectacle set to wow in the Adnams Spiegeltent
PUBLISHED: 08:24 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28 23 May 2018
Archant © 2018
Circus spectacle is once again set to wow in the Adnams Spiegelgent. Arts correspondent Emma Knights finds out more about the 2018 headline act taking to the stage in the iconic Norfolk and Norwich Festival venue.
The Adnams Spiegeltent has once again popped up in Chapelfield Gardens for the Norfolk and Norwich Festival, and this year the circus company Barely Methodical Troupe will be taking centre stage in the iconic venue with a brand new show called Shift.
Audiences are being promised a dazzling, gravity-defying spectacle from the troupe which last entertained NNF festival-goers in 2015 with the show Bromance at Great Yarmouth’s St George’s Theatre.
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Among the four-strong cast for new show Shift is acrobat Charlie Wheeller, one of the co-founders of Barely Methodical Troupe, and he said they had been having a great time making the production which is premiering at the festival.
“Shift is an elastic spectacular that will make you laugh and hopefully impress with some really beautiful wow moments,” he said.
“You will see people climb higher than you have seen before, you will see people fly in ways that I do not think you will have seen before.”
He added: “We have been in Switzerland making the show with director Melissa Ellberger. She used to be a breakdancer as well as doing circus, and she’s led us through an exciting adventure.
“We have got lots of over-sized elastic rubber bands [in the show], and that’s been quite fun to look at how far they can stretch!”
He said a key part of London-based Barely Methodical Troupe’s signature style was putting their own unique spin on circus traditions and combining that with theatre and dance.
He said: “We are quite a contemporary circus. We perform in theatres and like to have a lot of music and dance and theatrical aspects combined into it, not just straight circus. We are quite experimental and contemporary in that sense.”
Joining Charlie in the cast of Shift are fellow acrobats Louis Gift, Esmeralda Nikolajeff and Elihu Vazquez, with each performer having their own specialism.
“Mine is the Cyr wheel which is a big metal wheel I stand in and spin around in,” said Charlie.
“It’s very fun. Of course we are doing the show in a Spiegeltent so it’s a much smaller stage [than we are used to], so it’s a bit more dangerous for me and a bit more of a challenge!”
He said it was the first time the troupe was performing in an intimate Spiegeltent setting and that they were excited for what that would add to the show.
“We always like doing shows in the round if we can...It’s so much better, especially for circus, to perform with the audience 360 degrees around around you,” he said.
“You get to hear the gasps all around. It’s much more surround sound with the audience reaction which really adds to it, and that’s why we are doing this, for the wow moments for the audience.”
But he added it was not all about the grand spectacle.
“With our company we try to have a nice balance between high energy group acrobatics and then we bring it down to more quiet, tender moments, with some silly, witty comedy thrown in there too.”
When asked about why Barely Methodical Troupe had named its latest show Shift, he said it was in part because of how the company has developed since it was first founded by Charlie and fellow National Centre for Circus Arts alumni Beren D’Amico and Louis Gift.
“Barely Methodical Troupe is now coming up to four years old and in the last year or so the company has developed and we are bringing in more and more people into the company. I guess there was a shift in the company that helped with the decision to name the show Shift,” he said, adding that the name also reflected the idea of shifting perspectives and the physical shifting of things.
“We are always looking at relationships on stage, delving into the human condition and looking at that through physicality,” he said.
“Our first show, Bromance, was about our [Barely Methodical Troupe’s] relationship, Kin was about group dynamics and how we are a different version of ourselves with different people.
“With this one [Shift] we wanted to have a little look at the individual shifts and the specific things that happen to people’s lives and big impacting decisions that change their futures.”
Shift is at the Adnams Spiegeltent until Sunday, May 27. Tickets £20 and £22. To book, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk
MORE SPIEGELTENT FUN
Afternoon tea dances and late night music are also part of the 2018 line-up. Below are some highlights:
• Ragroof Tea Dances with the Ragroof Players on May 19 and 20.
• House of Waters will be bringing their innovative sound, featuring hammered percussion, six string bass and percussion, to the stage tonightMay 17.
• Join opera and lycra-loving cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat for new show Icons on May 18 and 19.
• Singer-songwriter Barb Jungr will be reimagining the music of Bob Dylan on May 22.
• Les Amazones d’Afrique will be blending the ancient rhythms of Africa with funk and blues on May 23.
• Fiery saxophone-drum duo Binker and Moses will be on stage on May 24.
• Ashley Henry will be performing his mix of jazz, hip-hop, R&B and punk on May 25.
• Maisha’s energetic show has been lighting up parties and jazz clubs across London and will be taking to the Adnams Spiegeltent stage on May 26.
For more information, including times, ticket prices and how to book, visit www.nnfestival.org.uk
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