Circus Month - Inside the Box @ Jackson's Lane Theatre

March 16, 2015

Continuing on with our circus theme this month we went along to review Inside The Box, a circus production at Jackson's Lane Theatre last month.

The couple behind Inside the Box are Vicki and Wibbe Pompe - who are based in Belgium - and this was the UK premiere of their new show Inside The Box, wherein they wanted to explore the inexhaustible theme of gender. A few of the questions they wanted to confront with their circus were who determines the images of men and women? Friends? FashionFilm? Why do men and women take on certain roles? What is a real man and what makes a real woman?

 The show opened with the two performers giving cliché remarks about the opposite sex in a tongue in cheek sort of way such as, "Why do men always leave the toilet seat up?" and "Why do women always take so long to get ready?" The show was then made up of a series of sequences that explored these stereotypes and the theme of gender in general.

One scene showed Vicki hanging off the pyramid-shaped truss and trying on lots of clothes to get ready, whilst Wibbe watched on from below. As well as aerial acts that were all performed off this one versatile structure, they performed a sequence of acrobalance sets. One of the most impressive points in the evening was when they performed the acrobalance sequence in reverse, so that Vicki was acting as the base and supporting Wibbe. Despite a minor wobble at one point Vicki’s skill and strength, combined with the trust between the two of them was very impressive.

 Another highlight of Inside the Box was Vicki’s aerial display on the rope, where she discussed the circle of life for a female and twisted the rope around herself as she twisted her body into a foetal position to create the image of a baby in a womb.

Unfortunately, the costumes were plain and at times Vicki dressed androgynously so that there was little difference between the male and female performer, taking away from the point of the show. Added to this, the different scenes seemed to go from one to the other arbitrarily but on the whole it was an enjoyable performance and displayed impressive skills.




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By Laura Copeman