Review: The Revel Puck’s Circus

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By Flossie Palmer, Features Editor

On 7 April, The Revel Puck Circus burst onto the grounds of Dove Lane, St Paul’s, in their playful performance aptly named ‘The Wing Scuffle Spectacular.’ A night packed full of fun, acrobatics and stunts that you secretly wish you could do, The Revel Puck Circus brings a new and refreshing form of entertainment to Bristol for all to enjoy this Easter.

Uniting the impressive acrobatics, dancing, juggling and characterful costumes that The Wing Scuffle Spectacular presents is the troupe’s artful exploration of fear. The show opened with every performer – each one with their own distinct costume and sense of character – being enticed by a swinging live chainsaw, flipping, jumping and limbo-ing under it in an adrenaline-fuelled opening scene. From the very start, the audience are launched into a new perspective through which to view fear, as it is explored as an important challenge which allows you to tackle dangers head-on and experience something wonderful because of it.

This exploration of fear was most identifiable in the group’s jester character, who took inspiration from the infamous clown figures often seen at traditional circuses; however, it must be noted that The Revel Puck Circus is no mere stereotype. Although the jester maintained the humour of the traditional clown figure, making his entrance by falling off a ladder in awe of the dangerous feats performed by the rest of the cast, his character was much more symbolic. Throughout the show, the jester existed as an outsider coming in, standing in the position of the audience as a novice when it came to acrobatics and ambitious stunts. However, the jester, identifying with the shock, wonder and enthusiasm of the crowd, then attempted what he would’ve deemed unthinkable at the start of the show – the taming of a lion. In this way, The Revel Puck Circus cleverly showed the audience that with enough courage, anyone is capable of being spectacular.

While the jester had the most stand-out character of them all, it’s not to say that the rest of the cast weren’t also as individually vibrant. Each performer had their own solo in which they could shine, showcasing their talents ranging from hoop-work to an aerial strap performance and juggling. Each performance was neatly tied together with a subtle nod to overcoming fear; one performer, who flew around the circus tent on an aerial strap desperately trying to escape a pool of green slime beneath, stepped into it at the end of her performance, signifying that it is not so scary after all.

Nix Pretlove, Arts Producer of The Revel Puck Circus, told Epigram that the show, with its overarching theme of fear, is part of a trilogy. The Circus’ previous show explored failure and is now exploring fear in a bid to demystify it; the theme for the Circus’ third instalment is yet to be confirmed.

Nix elaborated that the Circus is ‘embracing the human aspect of our emotions and trying to relate to everyone’ in its exploration of fear. ‘We are trying to connect to something which is a raw, natural, human emotion and amplifying that to see how far we can go with it!’ This is certainly a fair assessment, as just as the performers were pushed to the limits of their comfort zones, the audience were left on the edges of their seats for the most part of the show.

Overall, The Revel Puck Circus brought something new to the table with their down-to-earth and playful performance, lasting an hour and a half in total and leaving you wanting more. Appealing to both adults and children with its humour, a trip to the forever captivating circus tent this Easter is in order if you wish to experience something fresh in Bristol’s entertainment scene.


The Revel Puck Circus is in Bristol until April 24

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