The Moscow State Circus

Hunter’s Hall Park

Edinburgh

June 30th – July 3rd

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Niddrie is probably not the most cosmopolitan part of Edinburgh’s capital, but how refreshing it is to hear the Russian tongue pirouetting on the breeze as the the Moscow State Circus rolls into town. Their Big Top is a lovely affair, glowing a sultry Russian red beneath a silky black roof, inviting us all into a land of onion-domed make-believe.

No ordinary show, the ‘Seven Zhelaniy’is based on the Valentin Kataev’s folk-tale of Cvetik-Semicvetik, or “the flower with seven colors”, by Benjamin Losin. Each of the petals represent a wish, & throughout the show we are pleasant witnesses to a series of set-piece vignettes within a wider narrative. Great fun the lot of them as well, from the stunningly acrobatic ‘Lady in Red,’ whose aerial bombast blew us all away, to the troupe of white-dusted Georgian ghosts called ‘After Dark’ whose trampolining buffoonery was leapt to perfection.

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Every circus needs a clown, & Professor Wacko was a wondrous little mirth-maker that kept the flow going through the non-stop action. Of all the acts, I really dug the hyper-modern hip-hip, neon-painted Barrel Jugglers – a kinky quartet of colour & darkness & hypnotic juggling. I also loved the ‘Cleaner’ a female comic turn who was no mean acrobat in her own right, who did things with a set of hula-hoops that was just pure poetry. All-in-all, the Moscow State Circus offers a spectacular that ticks all the boxes, & as a composite whole transcends most other circus experiences. Kid & Big Kid alike will love it as I did. The Circus is touring Scotland until August.

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Reviewer : Damo Bullen

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