The intriguingly named young Canadian troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main consists of a couple of former Cirque du Soleil performers plus alumni of Montreal’s National Circus School. The training shows. They’ve brought all their considerable acrobatic skills with them, but have ditched fancy costumes (they don’t need them) and superannuated clowns in favour of a short, edgy production which builds to a jaw-dropping finale with lots of gasp-making moments along the way.
Staged within the conceit that, sometime in the not-too–distant future, they find themselves sheltering in a bunker, the five performers introduce themselves – name, height, weight and the barest of personality information – then throw their lithe bodies across the stage with a breathtakingly fluid agility.
The solo routines are impressive enough – Philip Rosenberg’s superbly controlled hand balancing on a disjointed window dummy, Antoine Carabinier Lepine’s gyroscopic rotations on the single wheel, Antoine Auger giving the monkeys in the jungle a gravity-defying run for their money as he swings from pole to Chinese Pole. But there’s also an astonishing amount of trust between the acrobats as Genevieve Morin throws herself backwards into the air to land on her partner’s shoulders. There’s light-hearted urban fun, too, with basketball and skateboard routines led by a cheeky Jonathan Casaubon – all leading up to an accelerating tumble through an ever higher pile of hoops, diving backwards, forwards and every which way in a quicksilver climax to a thrilling show.
Peacock Theatre, Portugal Street WC2A 2HT
0844 412 4322
Tube: Holborn tube
Until 30th October
£10 – £38
Review: Louise Kingsley