Last night I went to a very strange place. I could have been in a music hall in 19th century Paris, but the little boy and his mum pointing and laughing in amazement in the row in front were definitely rooted in 2011.
Such is the magical nature of French circus act, Le Cirque Invisible. The two stars, Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée and Victoria Chaplin (Charlie’s daughter), have been performing their tricks and transformations for more than 30 years, and while some of the costumes and props might look dated, it only seems to add to the charm of this quirky show.
Le Cirque Invisible is timeless, innocent and fun, appealing to the kid in all of us. The simple comedy of obvious magic tricks and an oversized wig (Jean-Baptiste Thiérrée) is juxtaposed with incredibly graceful dance and costume transformations by Victoria Chaplin. I particularly liked her umbrella dance, and the way she anthropomorphises almost everything: turning chairs, bicycles and bodices into incredible, mythical beasts. The scene where these eerily life-life creatures turned back into the trappings of a simple living room was captivating.
It’s a fantastic, family-friendly show. Kids will love the magic tricks, the wonderful costumes, the silly slapstick and the cute rabbits. And so will the adults!
Le Cirque Invisible is at the Queen Elizabeth Hall until 21 August