Edinburgh Fringe 2017
“Award-winning contemporary circus company mixes breathtaking acrobatics, original music, magic tricks and unexpected illusions in a fantastical journey to the spectacular comedies of the 19th century. Batacchio fluctuates between real and unreal, truth and illusion, combining new circus, dance and theatre”
This is a theatrical contemporary circus show by Cirk La Putyka, in association with the Czech Showcase 2017 and Aurora Nova. An ensemble of seven performers clown and strut their specific skills in glorious distinctive costumes for the sixty-minute show. The acts themselves are built around circus skills we may have see before, such as acrobatics and aerial acts, but they each have their own – sometimes quirky – flavour. This is a delight to our senses as we discover the personalities and individualistic characters that inhabit the world of Batacchio!
The atmosphere and look of the show is decidedly of another time, which is the goal of Maksim Komaro, the director and Rostislav Novák Jr, artistic director of Cyrk La Putyka. Based on a 19th century feel of how human circus skills were presented long ago, Batacchio is a creative version that introduces us to a few skills not necessarily seen before, especially in contemporary circus.
The show starts with the sound of a trumpet, taking us back in time and then a clown arrives. He is dressed in a black and grey costume, unusual colours for a clown, but this supports the contemporary circus style mix with the old-time circus of Batacchio. A character in a stunning pink and silver sparkly cocktail dress arrives together with a man in a long black trench coat; they do an elegant duo to magical sounds as if it is coming from a music box. Next, the enchanting Anna arrives in an emerald dress with matching boa and a combination of the longest eye lashes and long wavy red hair you have ever seen. She sings, like a cabaret singer, un chanson to welcome us, and we’re off!
Unlike many shows today, this show uses stage curtains in between the acts, and to good effect. This does take us back to yesteryear and it also allows for some fascinating idiosyncratic interplay between clowns, characters and complicity with the audience. It’s actually hilarious stuff and is special because we are seeing some unique movement and physicality that is organically centred on the artists themselves. These moments are charming and everyone in the ensemble has their moment in these vignettes.
Eccentric dance, mime, music and song are sprinkled throughout the beguiling show. Other vignettes and acts include strong-arm gymnastics, magic from a performer in beautiful red velvet and gold cloak, an entrancing ventriloquist, oh yes – and a wonderfully entertaining act with fruit and vegetables – you have to see this! Spectacular tumbling with the entire ensemble is a highlight of skill in a modern concept.
The strength of this show is the simplicity of the low-tech human focused style – no gadgets – just simple props, and lots of skill, creativity and imagination. Batacchio is a show that has the spirit of the circus with some acts not seen in the circus of today. As elegant, delightful and entertaining as it is, there are some deliciously quirky moments. It’s a very entertaining show!