PRECARIOUS @ His Majesty’s Theatre gets 8/10

 presented by Circus Oz @ His Majesty’s Theatre
Thursday, July 25, 2019


Circus Oz’s Precarious began with an ethereal vibe, a dimly lit veil hiding the dancers’ silhouettes framed by a romantic arch of metal scaffolding. Spawned from the grandeur of the Aurora Australis (very beautifully portrayed in the lighting of the production) and the icy plains of the Antarctic, the performance incorporated incredible displays of human agility through spectacular aerials, acrobatics, live musicians and physical comedy.

Precarious was preluded by a performance of acrobatic polar bears acting within the confines of the seated rows. Acrobatic dancers dressed in white, all fitted with polar bear hats and mimicking cheeky bear behaviour, interacted with the audience young and old (many kids had cushioned seats for better views). Various characters were created; a pin-up inspired, musical polar bear and her sloth of bears, a group of friendly sharks, a graceful yet conniving bald dancer, a dynamic swing dancing duo. Characters melded with each other and their environment seamlessly, captivating the audience in a remarkable way. Truly incredible feats of human strength and flexibility were only intensified by dramatic lighting and celestial beats created by the live, futuristically dressed musicians.

The show aims to inform and warn of the dangers of global warming, and its potential impact on the environment and its inhabitants, providing a relatable metaphor for global warming that children could empathise with and easily understand. While Precarious certainly provided entertainment for both young and old, much of the physical comedy relied upon more childish jokes to gain the younger audience’s attention and sympathy. For instance, the characterisation of the polar bears was quite fragmented and almost inserted at random times within a seemingly cohesive but separate show. I was particularly disappointed with the characterisation of the singing; almost Burlesque-style polar bear. Her performance lacked enthusiasm and was easily outshone by her colleague resembling Austin Powers character, Dr. Evil.

However, the impressive lighting showcase and live music added depth and chemistry to the performance. The otherworldly interplay of synthesisers, keyboards and smooth vocals additionally created an incredible soundtrack to this astonishing performance, only adding to the dramatic effect of the tale. ‘Bad’ characters or plot twists were complemented with darker lighting and more brooding music, making the performance easy for children to follow and the plot easy to understand.

Through Precarious, Circus Oz have created a breathtaking visual display of human strength whilst conveying the seriousness of issues surrounding global warming in a child-friendly way.


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