Review: Le Cirque Invisible @ QEH

By Londonist Last edited 105 months ago
Review: Le Cirque Invisible @ QEH

Our competition winner, Ruth, reviews Cirque on the Southbank.

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At Le Cirque Invisible, Victoria "daughter-of-Charlie" Chaplin and her husband Jean-Baptiste Thierrée - along with a schizophrenic fish, umpteen suitcases and a singing goose - have created a fantastical world which seems a million miles away from the tourist-ridden hubbub of the Southbank.

Nothing can be taken for granted; drawing rooms morph into mythical beasts before your eyes, silk handkerchiefs fall with the crash of demolished scaffolding, and umbrellas become warring sea creatures. They even pull a rabbit out of a hat, but with of course with their own style of Gaelic whimsy, the rabbit is a cloud. Are you still following this?

Chaplin's subtle and carefully choreographed physical transformations (involving all manner of flexibility which make your eyes water trying to comprehend) and ephemeral dances are counterpointed by Thierrée delivering punchy visual one-liners drawing belly laughs from adults and children alike. And if even your upper lip is still too stiffly British after all that, then a stint of audience participation reminiscent of Paul Daniels in his Wizbit days (with a similarly large rabbit for good measure) will have you sniggering along despite yourself.

Even the most jaded of Londoners will find it hard not to be overcome by this spectacle, tapping depths of the imagination that may not have been delved into since childhood. In the world of the invisible, seeing is believing.

By Ruth Lang

Le Cirque Invisible is on until Sunday 23 August at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, 2.30pm (matinee Wednesday and Sunday) 7.30pm, Tickets: £28 / £22 /£15

Last Updated 10 August 2009