Sunday, July 7, 2013

Review: (Toronto) Twisted Beats Circus (Fringe)

Come for the prop comedy, stay for the aerials
by Colette Shaw

This clown show is hosted by Jesse Horne, recovering children’s party specialist (they’re awful! “It’s like Braveheart with balloon animals!” he warns us) who is trying to make a career to become MC Jack the Tripper (good name, I’d say). It seems he just can’t leave the clowning behind: even his first number is about props. As for whether he’s left his child audience behind, there are too many f-bombs for the under-six set, but the young people in the audience totally loved him. My favourite part of his solo bit is a track about the differences between Australian and North American English (he’s originally from Australia) during which he plays a didgeridoo, even at one point while balancing it on his face!

Horne brings us the twisted beats, and the circus feats are care of Simone Marina Lazar, contortionist, ballerina and aerialist. Her first entrance is the best I’ve seen all festival, but the part of her act that impressed me most was her aerial hoop work. I was surprised how intimate a space the Annex Theatre suddenly seemed with her suspended just above the downstage edge. If I’m honest, the comedy and raps weren’t for me, (though that is more a reflection of my taste than Horne’s skill) but the aerials are worth the price of admission.

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