Monday 12 October 2015

Limbo review - Melbourne Festival

Presented as part of the Melbourne Festival, Limbo is an exhilarating blend of circus, acrobatics and cabaret that will have audiences speechless and leave them wanting much much more. With a strong nod to the 1920s and performed in a spiegeltent, Limbo transports its audience into a seedy underworld of no barriers or rules, a place where everyone can come and play no matter what your tastes and likes may be.

Its international cast ensures that they have the best of the best in its skilled performers including fire-breather sword-swallower Heather Holliday who at one point literally has the stage in flames and the near-impossible contortionist act by Tigris. Other highlights include Danic Abishev's hand-balancing act and Mikael Bres' Chinese pole act, which left audiences gasping throughout.
There is a great sense of play and cheekiness coming from the performers, which adds to the excitement of Limbo. While they are clearly focused and very careful in what they do, they never let this emotion show, and except for one of two moments, you can never actually tell if anything doesn't quite go according to plan.

The interludes between acts are well thought out that not only assist with the set up of the next act but allow the audience to catch their breath and compose themselves from the excitement they've just witnessed. Scott Maidment has directed a very tight show that has no unnecessary lulls among the incredible highs of watching these talented people creating intense and jaw-dropping acts with their bodies.

Sxip Shirey's live score - including some brilliant beat-boxing by Bres - is a great accompaniment to the acts. The music and the performances come together in unison, to the point where the movements of the acts are in perfect sync with the beats and rhythms of the music.

The charisma and genuine playful nature of the performers ensures that Limbo is an intense yet highly enjoyable experience. There are a number of "need to be seen to be believed" acts that will have you exiting the spiegeltent in awe and wonderment of what has just been witnessed.

Venue: SpiegeltentSouth bank of Yarra River, east of Princes Bridge.
Season: Until 1 November | Tues-Sat 8pm, Sat 3pm, Sun 7pm.
Tickets: $35 - $69
Bookings: Melbourne Festival

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 12 October

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