Reviewed by Rosemary Knight
The last time I visited the circus was when I was a child in the 1960’s, so when I was offered the chance to see Now or Never by Circa Tsuica at The Lowry in Salford Quays, Manchester, I literally had no idea what to expect. As a young child I remember being rather underwhelmed by the garish clowns and the animal acts, so I hoped that this new kind of circus would be a change for the better. Luckily, I discovered that this performance by Circa Tsuica was quite unlike any other circus show I have ever seen.
The event took place in the big top which was situated at Pier 8 on the Lowry Plaza. On arrival we joined the queue and were all personally welcomed and kissed on each cheek by one of the performers, which was quite surprising as this was totally different to what we were expecting! We were then given a glass and informed that we should help ourselves to drinks and snacks, whilst another one of the performers cooked crepes for the waiting audience. Throughout, the other performers played live brass band music, adding to the party atmosphere in the star-studded big top.
The performance was amazing. I honestly never realised that so many acrobats could balance on one bike whilst playing musical instruments at the same time! I was astounded by the acrobatic tricks featuring the trapeze, Cyr wheels and trick bicycles played out to fantastic live music. Near to the end of the performance some of the performers spectacularly somersaulted from the seesaw across the big top on to a large black box. One of them had specifically asked the audience not to applaud, but it was practically impossible not to cheer out loud in appreciation.
The performers encouraged audience participation throughout, with members of the audience being invited into the centre of the big top to dance and take part in other tricks. One man had to fall backwards from a stand and be caught by the performers. We were involved in the entire performance throughout, enthusiastically waving multi-coloured scarves when directed.
This was a crazy, bizarre show, but it was so much fun! It lasted for approximately 105 minutes, without an interval, but there was so much going on that the time absolutely flew past. When we exited the big top, we agreed that this was a completely unmissable show.
Tickets cost from £13 to £16 (booking fees may apply).
Circa Tsuica – Now or Never is at The Lowry in Manchester from 30 August to 1 September 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.thelowry.com or call the box office on 0843 208 6000.
The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3AZ | 0843 208 6000