iD, Cirque Eloize, Peacock Theatre

I’m sure we aren’t the first or the last people to turn up at the wrong theatre. For those that don’t know… Sadler’s Wells has a younger sister venue, the Peacock Theatre in Holborn. After a rather stressful sprint to the correct theatre we settled in for an awe-inspiring performance.

Cirque Eloize is an energetic and passionate production company – in their new show iD they combine hip hop dance and circus acrobatics in an organic urban fusion which is lively and invigorating to watch.

They began by exploring the genre of hip hop dance, moving fluidly into other forms of movement and performance. The show has little narrative, instead the cast are each given their chance to display their individual talent… whether it be on a bicycle, in the air or with ten juggling balls. The cast reconvene often to present impressive group acts, for example a trampoline sequence which drew audible gasps from the audience as the performers threw themselves around with great aplomb.

There are poetic moments too… contortionist Emi Vauthey and skater Jon Larrucea perform a beautiful piece towards the end of the evening that demonstrates skill and creativity.

The music, which sadly wasn’t live, was immersive and powerful with compulsive rhythms and insistent melodies. The simple but versatile set, designed by Robert Massicotte, provides a quirky backdrop which constantly reinvents itself.

Cirque Eloize are a team of super-talented artists with a strong sense of character and motivation. Their infectious energy ensures the audience have a good time, every night.

Continues until 19 October, book here.

Limbo, Southbank

After seeing the mentalist Derren Brown I have decided that some kind of superhuman powers do actually exist. Limbo showcases superhuman talents of other kinds: physical strength, bravery and daring creativity. I’ve seen many of the Southbank’s Udderbelly summer productions but this show was significantly the most impressive and engaging.

With less of the clowning around and more hardcore awe-inspiring acts, it is impossible not to be amazed by these crazy artists as they eat fire, swing backwards on poles over the audience and contort and balance with unbelievable facility and confidence.

The band are magnificent too, providing a wacky soundtrack to the acts. Composer and musical director Gene ‘Sxip’ Shirey has created an experimental and imaginative score with contributions from various cast members. He uses a harmonica, tuba and megaphone throughout adding a sense of mayhem to the action.

I could highlight the individual performers but really a show like Limbo is all about the ensemble and magical teamwork. Each using their own special talents, the cast members create a 75 minute show that is addictively good. Big ideas on a small scale always carry a risk but Limbo triumph with staggering dexterity and wonderful charm.

Continues until Sunday 29 September, more information here.

www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/limbo

Bianco, Roundhouse

I would recommend not taking a bag to the Roundhouse when you go to see Bianco. The NoFit State immersive promenade circus show requires just as much energy and alertness from the audience as from the performers. Guests are required to be very mobile, moving around the circular venue after each act… a unique concept but one that was rather frustrating with a heavy handbag and coat.

Internationally renowned for its dramatic live contemporary circus performance, blending jaw-dropping skills with untamed elegance and subversive edge, NoFit State returns to the stage with Bianco. There is little narrative, or at least no story that I could grasp. Instead the show is a series of visual vignettes displaying artistic and acrobatic finesse… the only theme? The colour white. With a constantly evolving tale set to a pounding soundtrack performed by a live band, this is an all consuming theatrical experience. Under the direction of Firenza Guidi the talented cast present a vividly imaginative performance.

Though I felt this show lacked wow factor Bianco does offer fantasy and awe, and there are a few moments of magic. The Cirque du Soleil life-defying risks are instead replaced with visually breathtaking acts exhibiting immense physical strength and incredible flexibility. For me it was the band that made the whole night worth the hassle… the gut-wrenchingly passionate musicians provided a mesmerising soundtrack for the evening.

NoFit State continues to reinvent circus with this stunning performance. After London the show will tour Brighton, Cardiff, Bristol, Narberth, Bangor and Edinburgh.

In London until 27 April, more information and book here.