Arje: The Mystery of the Everyday (Diminuto Circus)
Judith Wright Centre, Performance Space
March 9 – 12
“Arje: the Mystery of the Everyday”, the work from Chilean company Diminuto Circus, visiting the country from Santiago to collaborate with Casus Circus is a family-friendly show featuring a display of physical theatre work in its tale of a quiet young girl who uses writing to transform the mundane into the fantastic, flying through new world filled with familiar objects. From washing on a line to a metal washing tub and a rug, everyday items feature throughout the work, each used to interesting effect. And the performers are all appropriately animated, which only adds to the child-friendly appeal of the show.
The work is filled with magical moments of physical theatre and acrobatics as the group’s female performer towers on shoulders high in the air or flies between trapeze catchers from even higher. From the funniest and simplest of segments featuring performers putting placing pegs on their face or trapped within a coat-hangered suit, to the astounding aerial acrobatics to leave audience members in impressed awed-breath intake, “Arje” establishes itself as a highly-creative and enjoyable experience for the young and young-at-heart alike.
After announcement that the Friday night show would, due to unforeseen circumstances feature three acrobats as opposed to four, in a modified version, it only left me wishing we had seen the earlier four-hander version, but only so as to truly appreciate even more what had been put together last minute to, in effect, give us a world premiere three-person show that certainly did not disappoint.
Although energetic, this is not a work that showcases itself on the razzle dazzle of jazz hand performances. Rather it is a refreshingly gentle and still-satisfying take on the genre, which Brisbane audiences are fortunate enough to experience in its only Australian run. There can be something absorbingly visceral about circus. Although audience members may be unskilled in its art, there is still a shared elation that comes from seeing a risky trick nailed. And the spontaneous and genuine applause of satisfaction that features throughout “Arje” certainly proves this to be true.