Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA’s PEEPSHOW

Wednesday April 20, 2022, 7:30 p.m. Sydney Theater Royal.

Brisbane-based company Circa presents a double act at Sydney’s reimagined Theater Royal. They put on a show for all ages during the school holidays, LE CIRQUE MUSICAL MAGIQUE DE WOLFGANG. At night, it is the adult who watches the CIRCA PEEPSHOW.

This amazing acrobatic company featuring Keaton Hentoff-Killian, Jon Bonaventura, Holly-Rose Boyer, Rhiannon Cave Walker, Gerramy Marsden, Alice Muntz, Lachlan Sukroo and Billie Wilson-Coffey presents a night of extraordinary physical feats.

Their talent and mind-boggling ability to bend, balance and contort their bodies is masterful. I’m sure the public doesn’t fully understand the skills required to perform such marvelous feats with the human body. Yes, the public was suitably impressed. But the company makes the moves look easy to accomplish, which has the double-edged sword of showcasing their skills while decreasing the depth and difficulty of those skills.

Photo by Andy Phillipson
Photo by Andy Phillipson

The evening features a variety of routines that include acrobatics, rope, fabric, strap and trapeze work. It’s wonderful to experiment with new moves, as seen in Bonaventura’s rope work. The head walk was a marvel to watch. The box work by Marsden was a highlight. A routine where part of the troupe was hidden by black fabric in support of Wilson-Coffey was a delight to discover.

Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz presents “Peepshow. Hot, Sweaty, Sexy, and Tough.”

His vision created a break with the usual circus presentations. We enjoyed a night of comedic routines, breathless physical feats, emotive dance moves, risque acrobatics and movement theater.

BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Prudence Upton

This new approach to the circus arena was unclear in the first half of the night. The intent seemed disjointed and unclear. There was a mix of choices in costumes, music, routines and genres.

After intermission, Keaton Hentoff-Killian’s routine carried out the intention of the evening wonderfully. The routine beautifully combined acrobatic skill with this angsty scene. Physical movements and emotions presented engaging and exploratory work. A nice routine.

This new creative approach wasn’t clear in some of the night’s other routines, especially in the early part of the night.

The finale was a captivating exploration of human emotion. He combined acrobatic skill with interpretive movements to present a tender and beautiful routine. It was a superbly visual and emotive piece.

BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Kurt Peterson

The night felt like a Peepshow of emotions. A break with the usual meaning of this title.

During the night’s performance, the Peepshow neon sign randomly changed the colors of the individual letters. The meaning of this was unclear. This represented the direction of the show. A mix of ideas and choices that weren’t entirely coherent.

The choice to present this show at the Royal Theater is also curious. It’s great to have a new venue in Sydney, but the big stage creates distance between the audience and the energy of a circus performance.

To feel the physical skill impact of this endeavor, we need to be closer.

BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Andy Phillipson

The staging did not help the lighting. In the first half, at times, it seemed too lit. The black cloth routine was designed to hide the troop that was behind the cloth, the lighting failed with this.

In the second half, the lighting was dramatic. It fit the style of the performance, but we missed seeing some of the extraordinary physical feats exhibited by the company.

One routine required power cuts as part of the intended effect, but the light coming from outside the stage meant we could see the troupe making their changes in the dark.

Peepshow makes a brave exploration in a mix of circus, dance movement and performance art.

The Circa troupe has become a master in its circus art. See this work to benefit from their skills and discover this exciting new approach that deserves to be explored and developed.

BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Prudence Upton

https://www.theatreroyalsydney.com/events/season-2022/circas-peepshow/

BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Kurt Petersen

BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Andy Phillipson
BWW REVIEW: Guest reviewer Kym Vaitiekus shares his thoughts on CIRCA's PEEPSHOW
Photo by Prudence Upton

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