Royal Croquet Club – The Menagerie, Sat 13 Feb
It can be tough for a new circus company to come to the Adelaide Fringe with audiences having had the fortune of so many brilliant diverse circus acts in recent years. They do expect something different and at least all genius all idiot delivered on that. There was a strange mix of live experimental music, contemporary dance, circus tricks, junkyard set and bizarre costumes.
Presented by emerging Swedish Circus troupe Svalbard Company, all genius all idiot was advertised as exploring human behaviour at both its most primal and its most advanced levels, where the caveman meets the scientist. It is performed by multi-talented international circus and dance performers, Ben Smith, John Simon Wiborn, Tom Brand and Santiago Ruiz.
The show publicised the fine line between genius and idiot, but there is a fine line between audiences being absorbed in the unexpected and peculiar elements of a show and it just being unengaging and distancing for them. Unfortunately all genius all idiot falls more into the latter as the show lacked coherency with no obvious common theme or narrative. This meant that even though some of the individual acts or tricks were impressive or innovative, there was no engagement established in the beginning for the audience to appreciate the effort and skill. This was evident from the lacklustre applause following what was actually quite impressive strength work or dangerous tricks.
The elements that worked best were those stripped back, such as the aerial rope segment complimented by amplified sounds of water being splashed in a bowl. There were also some touches of comedy during the piece featuring Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen (The Queen Of The Night Aria).
A show for those wanting to explore something unusual.
all genius all idiot continues at Royal Croquet Club – The Menagerie from 7.30pm until Mon 14 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.