What do you get when you bring together 8 unique and talented circus performers and multiply their use of the imagination and their creativity to 1 innovative production? You’ve guessed it; it’s none other than the spellbinding Sequence 8! Be prepared to leave your worries behind as the cast navigate the audience through a labyrinth of thought provoking themes and scenarios.
Courtesy of Les 7 Doigts de la main (the 7 fingers), who have enjoyed international success with their latest show, the troupe make a welcome return to Sadler’s Wells as they transform the theatrical space into a world of abstract ideas and philosophies. Colin Davis contemporises the iconic role of the ringmaster as he greets the audience at the very beginning. As he introduces the show by thanking the crowd for their support, Davis sets the tone for the show; his down to earth persona breaking down the fourth wall between the performer and the audience.
Bubbling with character and dynamism, the ensemble dash, dive, jump and tumble before our very eyes; puzzle-like in their configurations. The space never suffer from dull or quiet moments as the group continually assemble and disperse. Alexandra Royer commands the stage with her daring balance beam routine. Performed above ground with the help of 2 other cast members, Royer effortlessly suspends belief by leaping and somersaulting into the unknown. With each unbelieveable somersault follows a rapturous round of applause as Royer constantly pushes the boundaries.
Other highlights of the evening include the ensemble comically shifting places as the stage momentarily goes into darkness. As the lights re-appear, solo performers, duos and trios are revealed in various tableau’s showcasing their strength and agility as they balance on the chinese pole. Eric Bates astounds with his interpretation of the much loved circus staple of juggling. Keeping a numerous amount of boxes suspended mid air, Bates surpasses the audience’s expectations with a routine that embodies unpredictability resulting in an exciting and hypnotising highlight.
A show elevated by its ability to push the boundaries and to challenge the notion of what a circus show can be, Sequence 8 makes for an enchanting evening of theatre. Tristan Nielsen amazes with a superman-esque determination, jumping through hoops with such fearlessness that it makes you question whether the cast inhibit superhuman capabilities! Ugo Dario and Maxim Laurin continue with the theme of fearlessness with their buoyant Korean board sequence. With both Dario and Laurin stood either end of the seesaw, both spring and leap into the air, performing a succession of somersaults in the process.
Sequence 8 is unlike any show, or any circus show for that matter that I have seen. Although their isn’t an overriding narrative, time flies by in this forever moving universe as themes such as identity and dreams become the driving force for the production. Sequence 8 initially makes you question the world in which the cast inhibit, with mini scenarios helping to introduce certain acts, however sometimes causing moments of confusion. As the show progresses, you begin to accept the world established and become apart of it. 4/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
Sequence 8 is currently showing at Sadler’s Wells until Tuesday 30th September. For more information on the production, visit here…