UNDERBELLY FESTIVAL SOUTHBANK – until 7 July 2019
Reviewed by Serena Norgren
FLIP Fabrique, the Quebecois circus company, returns to London with their latest work Transit as part of the Underbelly Festival at the Southbank. Well, it is just a joyous experience with an amazing array of circus skills on display.
The troupe is small (only 6 performers, 5 men and 1 woman) but they clearly have a very tight friendship and an almost sixth sense of each other. Each individual has a particular skill set from the aerial straps to the amazing diablo work via hula hooping and skipping which they perform.
The aerial straps of Pierre Rivière with fellow performer, Cedrik Pinault, acting as his counterbalance in the wings was spectacular with an extraordinary level of timing and strength. The diablo work of Jeremie Arsenault with extreme tricks and culminating with spinning 4 diablos at once was mind boggling. Jade Dussault was both balletic and brave with 8 hula hoops spinning at one time. Jasmin Blouin brilliantly and hilariously performed 15 circus acts in 90 seconds. Their strongman, Jonathan Julien, involved in many aspects was particularly impressive with his human pyramid.
Many of the circus acts performed are familiar but done at such a level and with no safety nets or ropes showing this talented lot’s skills off in a breathtaking and very exciting way. The real show stoppers were however the acts where the whole troupe performed together – the “spitting sweets” ballet, the multiple skipping rope tricks done as an ensemble to name just a few with the show ending on some amazing trampoline work.
Over and above the camaraderie and fun, the athleticism, bravery and energy of every single member shone through. It wasn’t perfect but that added to the deliciousness of the experience. The most marvellous start to the weekend and absolutely worth a visit, with or without kids.