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Circus 1903

The Works Entertainment and Fiery Angel in association with Senbla

The Lowry, Salford

November 19-24, 2019; 2hr

The cast of Circus 1903. All pics: Manuel Harlan
The cast of Circus 1903. All pics: Manuel Harlan

It seems 1903 was a very good year for the circus: certainly in America, where Barnum and Bailey, and the Ringling Brothers, were out to Big Top each other for audience attention.

A century later this show takes up some of that theme to capture the "golden age of circus”. That it manages to achieve it – and be two hours of exciting and joyful entertainment – is in no small part due to its ringmaster, American magician and master of ceremonies, David Williamson.

Even before curtain up he’s working the audience, but wait until he gets the smaller theatregoers up on stage, and watch a consummate performer take over the show. If you want THE children’s party entertainer, start saving now!

He serves up relaxed, stylish and good-natured comedy at its very best. His second half Training of Wild Animals routine is hilarious and a showstopper.

If he doesn’t take your breath away, then the rest of the show will. It’s a fast-moving kaleidoscope of tumbling, balancing, juggling, somersaulting and all the other words that describe those superhuman feats you can never quite believe and are just thankful someone else does on your behalf. This is an international cast of performers each of whom seems to have taken their respective skills to a quite astonishing new level.

Les Incredibles is a Russian couple who combine aerial artistry and a strongman act into a startling display of talent and trust high above the Lowry’s main stage. Likewise their Ukrainian neighbours The Flying Fredonis turn an airborne silks routine into a sensuous performance of strength and skill. Ethiopian "dislocationist" Senayet forces you to recalibrate your idea of human contortion. This is a young woman who can actually run rings around herself... And that’s all before the elephants!

The whole show is fast, fearful to watch, and a lot of fun. What more do you want? A ticket before Saturday!


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