Paper, ink, sand and silhouettes spring into being in the skilled hands of two visual artists who draw and play music live to build a big top universe, their striking creations projected onto a large screen.
‘Come for the show, stay for the woe.’ A sinister ringmaster invites the inhabitants of a dreary city to his circus tent, where he presides over catastrophic acts. The trapeze artist plummets, the animal trainer is devoured, the human cannonball is lost in space … until a juggler strikes a discordant note, releasing the flash of colour everyone has been waiting for.
Born from the imagination of French illustrator Pef, the fantastical story of Dark Circus is animated onstage by Stereoptik duo, Romain Bermond and Jean-Baptiste Maillet. Surrounded by everyday drawing materials and a collection of instruments, they share the techniques, tools and low-tech effects behind their wondrous, cartoon-like apparitions. Accompanied by a whimsical electro-acoustic soundtrack, this feel-good show literally emerges before your eyes.
55 mins/no interval
Age guidance 7+
27 Jan Post-show talk Free to same-day ticket holders
Presented by the Barbican in association with London International Mime Festival
Co-produced by L’Hectare Scène conventionnée de Vendôme, Théâtre Jean Arp Scène conventionnée de Clamart, Théâtre Le Passage Scène convenionnée de Fécamp and Théâtre Épidaure de Bouloire – Cie Jamais 203
The creation of Dark Circus was financially supported by Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication – DRAC Centre-Val de Loire and by Région Centre-Val de Loire
French artists at the Barbican supported by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni