Kneehigh Nights at the CircusFinally, I have seen a show by Kneehigh! Their latest, at the Lyric Hammersmith, was an adaptation of the Angela Carter novel, Nights at the Circus
It was brilliant. The Lyric is hideous and too well-blended into its shopping centre suroundings to be attractive or inspiring. But once inside the auditorium , it's a Victorian music hall fantasy with red velvet seats, elaborate and heavy gold-painted plaster work everywhere and the kind of lighting that somehow suggests gas lamps and lime lights. Perfectly suited to this play - the nipple tassels, corsets, grubby backstage relations and dangerous onstage acts that included trapezes, man-eating tigers and highly abusive clowns in jealous rages were all made magical and gritty at the same time by the theatre's style.
And the ending... the entire audience was holding its breath and urging the two lovers to touch, to grab each other and kiss as they sailed up and down and through the air on their bungee ropes, the girl with the feathers seeming to really fly out her lover's grasp while he strained to reach her from the ground, eventually leaping off high enough to fly through the air with her and finally, breathlessly, grabbing her and kissing her.
Lovely. Am in the mood for more nights at the theatre now. Am also spending far too much time thinking about nipple tassels and how they stay on. Must do more research.