Review of Casus Knee Deep at The Famous Spiegeltent

Captivating physicality. Breathtaking performance with undertones of cool. Check out Knee Deep at The Famous Spiegeltent at The Arts Centre Melbourne performing each night 7pm until March 17.

Four Brisbane circus performers – former Circa and Flying Fruit-Fly Circus performers Emma Serjeant, Jesse Scott and Lachlan McAulay, together with Polytoxic’s Natano Fa’anana - have joined forces in this highly talented and eclectic company.

The World Loves Melbourne went along to the opening night of Casus' Knee Deep which was sold out – individually they are extremely talented performers, but together they create a sublime spectacular experience. The audience was fixated on the performers’ amazing physicality. It seems there is nothing they cannot do in twisting, climbing, and undertaing highly complex moves and arrangements. 

Says the website - Through this work, the five performers explore the limitations of strength and fragility, journeying Knee Deep through moments of raw discovery, fleeting relationships and unexpected bonds. Casus gives new purpose and meaning to objects that are seemingly inanimate.

There is none of the hype here of some other circus acts. The performance is built on raw talent and there is a continuity as the show moves on. The interplay with the humble egg spoke to me of dancing with fragtility (each to their own I know). There are no weak links - each of the four performers is supertalented and they worked as a team. Unlike some other shows this was not a series of disconnected circus tricks but there was a mature flow of story and connection from one act to the other.

The ambience of The Famous Spiegeltent is amazing - so intimate with only 150 or so audience members allowed. Small colourful tent of yesteryear made alive. Each patron is given a glass of champagne on arrival. Even if you are sitting at the back the action on the stage is only a few metres away. I can't wait to attend another show at The Famous Spiegeltent. So unique and intimate. Costumes and staging were simple – the heroes are the performers and their amazing physicality. 

Cool hypnotic music and a few well chosen props added to the performance. Not overdone. The use of multimedia was first class and enhanced not detracted. This beautifully choreographed show is a pleasure to watch. The performers make smooth transitions between acts, tying the show together in a way that many more traditional troupes do not. The company hails from Brisbane but their approach is ostensibly Melbourne uber style.

The audience was involved throughout the night with regular applause and shout outs. We were all captivated by these talented performers pushing the envelope in their physical endeavours with human chains and almost super-human balancing acts.

This is no crass circus show. It's full of poise, grace, even elegance, as well as amazing muscle displays. There was no lag in the entire show. An AFL player would be impressed by the non stop physical feats.

By the end the audience recognised a complete triumph. Four raucous rounds of applause as the performers bowed and left then returned. As I left I heard people saying they want to come back for another session with friends and family members. Surely the highest commendation.

Highly recommended. Check out the website for bookings.

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