Transformed from retired fishing vessel to AirCraft carrier, the MS Stubnitz is the circus hotspot of the week.
From this Thursday to Sunday, the latest show by Greenwich-based company AirCraft Circus takes place aboard the ex-German fishing vessel MS Stubnitz. The boat is no stranger to cabaret having hosted the recent Rumpus party and last year’s The Apocalypse Gameshow.
The industrial setting has been superbly adapted for Midnight Circus. All of the equipment and rigging can be seen through a void in the ceiling above its runway-style stage. This gives the curious amongst the audience an opportunity to see the inner workings of the ropes and pulleys required. Pumping throughout the show, a soundtrack of industrial numbers gives the evening a raw and rough ambiance.
A raunchy pole dance set kicks off matters, drawing the audience’s attention away from the main stage strip towards a platform at the head of the room. Seamlessly, as this set ends, straps fall from the whole in the ceiling above leading to a variety of both ground-based and aerial disciplines. A variety of lighting setups, differing for each act, helps to differentiate each segment and move the show along without the structure becoming blocky or boring. Despite the seemingly small venue, wherever you stand you’re guaranteed a clear view of the action. The performers hit their musical cues and cuts brilliantly, blending and crafting their individual disciplines seamlessly to the music.
A remix of Daft Punk’s Harder Better Faster Stronger is the soundtrack for an especially noteworthy act, as two female performers take to a single trapeze. They move in and around the space with accuracy and flow, having the audience cheering at some amazing catches. The movement and choreography throughout the show steps outside the realm of just trick after trick. The artists move with fluidity and grace, touching on storylines in almost every segment, giving the show another welcome dimension.
This is more than just airborne artistry and physical fireworks here. Two particularly impressive performers take to an aerial hoop and wow those below with some saucy spinning acrobatics. A cheeky kiss at the end revs up the crowd with many cheering the pair on. The shapes and mirroring choreography in this act, combined with the professional finish of the performance are a credit to the school and a definite highlight of the evening. The sexual tension continues into the exhilarating silks routine that follows, depicting the story of a man and woman undressing. A sexually charged act, it successfully retains the essence of sweet romance and is a distinct emotional shift from the aerial hoop act.
This event packs a lot into a short show of just under two hours (which includes a short interval). With the addition of a live band this week, there are plenty of reasons to run away to this circus.
Midnight Circus. Hosted by AirCraft Circus. MS Stubnitz, Canary Wharf, London. 14th-17th March, 8PM, matinee Sunday 17th March 2.30PM. Pre-booked tickets £20 (£25 on the door) http://www.aircraftcircus.com/