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Compagnie Bam

Hippodrome Circus, Gt Yarmouth

Review published in the Eastern Daily Press, 11 September 2012

A riot of anarchic, electrifying contemporary circus came to town as part of the Out There Festival. Nowadays performers must be magnificent tumblers and acrobats, and then brilliant comedians, musicians, singers and dancers!

Compagnie Bam are five energetic masters of the Chinese pole and teeterboard who began with a warning not to use phones or cameras by smashing some examples up.

From then on, surreal was normal, with characters entering as if inmates from an historical asylum. They made every routine look easy, cavorting skilfully through fast-paced madcap lunacy of the inspired kind, interacting comically and absurdly.

Three giant planks and two massive mattresses supported Olympic-standard gymnastics. A darker sequence in the middle explored the borders of gender. A crazy drummer on a trolley had it pulled into separate sections.

The whole was choreographed beautifully, with unison and slo-mo that defined them as a dance ensemble too. Cool live rock music and sound effects punctuated the whole superbly.

What was it about? A note was passed explaining ‘definitions of stupidity’. It was entitled Switch, but really it was about everything and nothing. Brilliant.

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