Review - The National Centre for Circus Arts Presents Polymer @ Udderbelly Southbank

July 08, 2015

You know summer has began when you find yourself heading to a graduate showcase by circus performers in a huge upside down purple cow on London’s Southbank.

Here at Sternberg Clarke, we are huge fans of circus performers and are always on the lookout for the next big thing or a certain skill that we’ve never seen before. Many of our clients want something that will wow their guests and although we perhaps see more jugglers and silk performers than most people in an average year, we too look forward to the performances that will knock our socks off.

This year’s show is called Polymer, which put simply means something consisting of many parts. This was a key theme throughout the evening, with the supremely talented graduating students from the National Centre for Circus Arts not only showing off their own disciplines but also forming part of the apparatus from which their fellow performers could swing and twirl. Quite a sight!

Various skills were on display from aerial rope, static trapeze and Chinese pole, right through to juggling in all its forms, contortion and hand balance acts. The standout for us however was the composition of the roué cyr act; seeing three wheels in unison was quite a sight, whilst three people sharing just one wheel was something we’ve never seen before! 

The entire production was beautifully put together from start to finish with fine direction from Lina Johansson. Simple yes, but extremely effective with star lighting and seamless transitions between scenes. This being a show, other aspects of Polymer were important and the wall-of-sound that kicked off proceedings was bombastic with a dynamic Explosions in the Sky-esque soundtrack that weaved through various styles from post-rock to techno and experimental electronic throughout the night. A note too for the costumes, the differing shades of grey contrasting beautifully with the projections and also the equipment, especially the brightly-coloured props employed by the jugglers.

The stand out performer for us was Elizabeth Rice, who not only demonstrated different disciplines throughout the hour-long show but at one point sang along to her own performance, her ethereal vocals maintaining an impressive stillness as she simultaneously span on the roué cyr.

All in all, It was a wonderfully enjoyable evening and we urge everybody to go and support this showcase; the final performance is tonight!  

For tickets, click here.




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By Henry Fosdike