Modern approaches to circus can sometimes struggle to juggle physical feats with postmodern spoken word moments, but Barely Methodical Troupe struck a brilliant balance. The framing centred around a surreal X Factor-styled judging contest with an aloof female dancer judging five men, in a surreal, stark manner redolent of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. There was a generous amount of very funny dialogue, with the endearingly muddled performers all vying for attention with the judge, who had her own poignant, reflective moments.
The actual circus parts were thrilling, with some elegant cyr wheel and impressive seesaw jumping that was genuinely breathtaking at times. The performers all had a flagrant disregard for each other’s heads and general wellbeing, which was nervous for the audience but also startlingly exciting. The comedically and physically gifted performers and humourous setup resulted in a highly enjoyable show, accessible to all whilst retaining real thematic and stylistic quality.
Concert Hall, Brighton Dome, 19 April 2017