Edinburgh Fringe 2011
Leo defited gravity and dives into fabulous scenes that leave everyone wondering which way is up and which way is down. Physical theatre taken to creative and imaginative heights.
Circle of Eleven’s new production Leo is an ingenious exploration of the bounds, or boundlessness, of the imagination and expectation. Its creator and performer Tobias Wegner conjures up a performance that is not only fresh, mischievous, and technically brilliant, but he deftly takes us to a place where if you can imagine it, dream it, draw it, or hear it, you can manifest it.
Right from the start the stage set alone makes you wonder what the premise of this performance will be. Wegner takes us slowly at first into Leo’s physical vocabulary and as we acclimatise to Leo’s own brand of unique language of movement, it’s a topsy-turvy ride from there on in. Have the laws of gravity just been changed? In what world do pieces of clothing and suitcases take on a life of their own? There’s no other choice but to enter in and snap on your virtual seatbelt.
As we delve deeper into Leo’s world we begin to wonder what he could possibly do next, what could top the previous sequence, and yet there is rarely a moment when we are not completely engaged with the feats of imaginative physicality on stage. Wegner keeps the pace clipping along and even in moments of stillness says just as much with one little finger as he does with his whole body. It’s these little puckish details that keep the dynamics of the piece varied and engaging.
Certain sequences in the piece might be every-so slightly long but this only a minor detail. Wegner starts with a simple, clever premise and then takes it to a level of mesmerising ingenuity that had me laughing from the beginning and kept me rapt with wonder and delight.
Leo not only seems to defy gravity but defies the expected and the predictable, with Wegner’s tour-de-force performance combining grace, timing, and playfulness. With masterful direction from Daniel Briere, this piece is not only a beautifully conceived feat of physical theatre but a journey of joyful discovery and invention, full of precision and effortless elegance.