Many years ago, circus entertainers were renowned for being part of a “freak show.” Hugh Jackman led The Greatest Showman into the cinema in 2017 as the American circus entertainer P.T Barnum put those who were “different” into the public eye and created a platform for their talents. Waldo’s Circus of Magic and Terror follows this theme and is the third show in the company’s diverse-led circus program.
Waldo (Garry Robson) leads his troupe throughout Europe during the rise of Hitler in Germany. The constant threat of danger and Hitler’s determined views on removing anyone he deemed to be “not perfect” in his strive to create the perfect Arian race, laid heavy on Waldo’s shoulders. As a wheelchair user, he knew his days were numbered as he battled to keep the show going.
The multi-layered production brings together actors and circus acts with a range of challenges and disabilities. Ranging from deaf, wheelchair use, rs and neurodiverse, and a range of “extraordinary bodies” create an evening of incredible entertainment.
Relationships are featured throughout the show. From the turbulent father and son disagreement between Waldo and Peter (Tilly Lee-Kronick), which almost gas catastrophic consequences to the romance between trapeze act Krista (Abbie Purvis) and circus Newcomer Gerhard (Lawrence Swaddle). Krista’s dwarfism holds her back initially from becoming involved as she fears Gerhard will lose interest once the novelty wears off. He eventually proves that he isn’t going to treat her in that way.
On many occasions during the musical parts the band accompanying the singers tended to be pitched too loud and sadly drowned the voices out. Which I have given as feedback and hopefully this will be rectified. There are some incredible soloists in this performance which deserve to be heard.
My plus one for the evening was extremely impressed with the production. They claimed it was something so different but brilliantly performed.
Actors of all abilities should be celebrated more often and Waldo’s Circus highlights the excellent possibilities available when actors are given a chance to shine. Each performance includes BSL interpretations, Captioned and Audio description.
For more information on this circus performance and future productions at The Mast, please visit the links below.
Waldo’s Circus of Magic & Terror