Leo brings circus to a new space

Leo is a mind-bending creation from Berlin company Circle of Eleven that merges circus, dance, digital projections and comedy into a wonderfully physical experience and brings circus into another space. Having already toured much of the world, it is no wonder Leo comes to the Arts Centre with several awards, including the Best of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Leo, Circle of Eleven
Leo, Circle of Eleven

The premise of the show is simple, yet its execution takes it far into the territory of suggestive realities, creative physicality and musical expression.

What is this premise? Well, to tell you that might be to ruin the surprise. Suffice to say, you will be stretched, surprised and delighted.

The brilliance of this show is that just when you’re getting accustomed to whatever is happening, and wondering “Where could he possibly take this now?” performer Tobias Wegner surprises by going in a new direction. It begins with a shift in our perception of gravity. Though we know nothing has changed, that it’s just a visual trick, there is still something incredible about what we see, and how that contradicts what we know about how, well, things go up and then come down. Once we’ve almost got our brains around that, they turn us on our heads again.

[pull_left]Suffice to say, you will be stretched, surprised and delighted[/pull_left]

Wegner conceived the idea of this solo work, which shows what a talent he is physically and imaginatively. The level of skill he displays by making physical feats look natural is constantly impressive with his history of dance shining through beneath his obvious circus talents.

It is difficult to pin down all the influences that appear in this production. Circle of Eleven focuses on combining different performance styles and elements to reflect the spirit of German variety theatre and Leo reminded me of silent movies, slapstick and mime, while merging them to create something unique.

This is the kind of theatre that inspires you to realise how far theatre can take you. And all with one man, two walls, a floor and a screen. Oh, and a magical suitcase.

Joanna Bowen

Joanna is a Melbourne-based writer and Jill of all genres. She writes content, scripts and biographies, among other things, and regularly discusses the many delights of Melbourne living.

Joanna Bowen

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