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Fringe review: Cirkopolis by Emma McCaffrey

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Cirkopolis by Cirque Éloize 

"Cirkopolis is a very special show that deserves all the accolades it has received and more. Highly recommended."

There was a lot of talk going on around me as the audience waited for the show to start and they entered to rather depressing music and only a desk, chair and papers waiting on stage. Some people talked about other shows they’d seen – which they thought looked better than this, thought had less of an “educational feel” than this staging suggested.  

I think once the show started, the audience realised they were watching a very important piece of blended dance, theatre and circus. Cirque Éloize showed the audience their skills with clowning, acrobatics and storytelling. Although it was left to the audience to have their own version of the story (and doing so, have a connection to the show) I had gone to this show with a bit of knowledge and I knew part of the inspiration was the 1927 film “Metropolis”. It was, I felt, made clear by the use of visual film, but with less of a depressing edge than the original film, and more on fun and circus. Some of the audience argued outside the venue on the storyline after the show but whatever the truth, Cirque Éloize’s performance brought the audience to their feet with some children in the audience sad that it had ended.

While all circus acts were deservingly applauded, my favourite moment of the show was watching Anna Lewandowska who performed on the Cyr Wheel alone on stage to music that helped bring the man next to me to tears. Cirkopolis is a very special show that deserves all the accolades it has received and more. Highly recommended. 

until 28 August at the Pleasance at EICC, Venue 150 at 7.30pm (2.30pm matinees on Saturdays)

written by: Emma McCaffrey

Emma McCaffrey has performed with Lung Ha Theatre Company since 2013. She is the co-founder and film editor of a YouTube film production company called "The Reluctant Penguin Production" which films for and with performers with learning disabilities and for charities such as Get2gether. She also performs in the Edinburgh Salvation Army City Corp band on tenor horn and performs with the Wester Hailes drama group "Whales Without a Cause". Emma writes and develops her own plays, music and stories.