Casus are an Australian contemporary circus company whose acrobatics are simply sensational. Their show Knee Deep has you sitting on the edge of your seat, holding your breath and breathing deep sighs of relief every three seconds. It’s a thrilling show.
Set in the Spiegeltent, the stage was a plain square in the centre of the tent with the audience seated all around the stage. Being so close to the action was incredible as every tiny movement could be seen in detail. I can not tell you how many times the audience gasped at the feats unfolding before their eyes because I was too busy gasping with them…
There are no sets, no complex costumes, no speech. The performers are all extremely expressive both through their movements and their faces, telling a story beautifully. I won’t attempt to describe the incredible aerial feats and acrobatics. I will only encourage you to take a look at their website and to go see one of their shows. You won’t be disappointed… but you may think you’ve having heart failure at moments… it’s not for the faint-hearted but go see them anyway!
The second show I’d like to talk about is Graeae Theatre Company‘s adaptation of the classic children’s tale, The Iron Man by Ted Hughes. A cast of deaf and disabled actors and musicians introduce the characters initially, teaching the audience the signs for them. Then through a combination of music, signing and audio description the story unfolds.
The wonderful Iron Man is a 5 metre tall moving giant, operated by two actors, that helps to save the world! Children absolutely love this show and it works perfectly as an outdoor event. The festival had placed the show in the bowl at Willen Lake, forming a wonderful performance space that enabled everyone to have a good view. The cast also allowed children to meet the giant afterwards and this went down an absolute storm.
Despite being a children’s show, adults loved it as well! The tale is so well told and the Iron Man so engaging that the performance flew past! The show inspired kids to make their own Iron Man at the MK Play Association workshop!
It was truly wonderful to see people inspired by the performances they saw, particularly seeing children engaged with theatre, taking the story away with them and allowing their imaginations to take over. The festival catered to so many different people of all ages with varying interests which was wonderful to see!