It is very refreshing to see a new generation of circus performers use narrative plot line and character development as a vehicle to show off some very impressive circus, acrobatics and gymnastics skills. Lost in Translation Cluster Arts are a very talented UK based ensemble of circus educators and performers always looking for the edge to take circus to new creative spaces.
The premise behind their latest offering, Hotel Paradiso showing at The Peacock Theatre at Gluttony is not a new one – a grand institution is in strife and facing closure; its up to the staff and servants to come up with a solution to save the hotel. The Blues Brothers and even The Three Stooges Movie used this concept as a vehicle for their sight gags and physical comedy. And it works here too, as they all dip in to the grand tradition of the Italian Commedia dell’Arte with the masters, servants, buffoons, villains and slapstick.
Hotel Paradiso relies on physical and visual humour and there are many laugh out loud moments. There is also a tilt at social commentary with the villainous and manipulative bankers being the butt of the vitriolic sight gags.
The suitably bumbling and ineffectual staff and servants use clever juggling, balancing and acrobatics to make their message while cleaning the chandelier turns into some of the most spectacular aerial work you will see at this year’s Fringe.
It is obvious that the cast has a strong gymnastics background as the tumbles and flips are flawless while there is a lovely sight gag of the hotel owner Mademe trying to drown her sorrows with a bottle of champagne only to being hampered by an ever increasing amount of rhythmic gymnastics hoops getting between her, the champagne bottle and the champagne glass. Its good fun to watch as company-director Annabel Carberry (formerly of Australia’s Flying Fruit Fly Circus) shows off clever comic timing and slick hoop manipulation.
Co-director Massimiliano Rossetti and Roisin Carberry bring in the spectacular finale that this company is world famous for – the Korean Cradle. They hold the Guinness World Record for the number of somersaults performed on the cradle in one minute.
This show is fun for the whole family – lots of laughs and plenty of acrobatic and aerial work for the audience to gasp in awe at. But the best bit is, that there is a really good attempt at character and plot development.
Fringe Review By Bob Becker
For tickets and show information head to FringeTix