The Circus of the Orient
Meadows Big Top
The Circus of the orient comes to Edinburgh for a fringe run sharing its home with the Ladyboys of Bangkok. Unfortunately the whole production comes off as both space filler and an exercise in making money quickly.
The first major obstacle to the show is the very fact it shares a home with Robert Gandey’s more successful Ladyboys which is presented in a Cabaret style setting. Presenting circus in the same layout doesn’t work especially as the meadows big top is so big. Seating your audience at tables with chairs around them takes away the atmosphere. Families with young children had the hardest task as children simply couldn’t see the action in the make shift circus ring.
The actual content of the production isn’t too bad to be fair but it’s nothing that isn’t being presented in other physical theatre productions throughout the fringe. The one standout moment that took the show from a one star affair is the inclusion of two of the world famous Shoalin Wu Shu Warriors who appear by permission of the Abbott of the Shaolin Temple. Their ten minute section is breath taking to watch as they reach beyond the pain barriers to showcase why this ancient temple has reshaped the popular view of ninja style presentations.
The production is woefully below the quality deserved of the ticket price and with additional costs of flashing lights, ice creams and candy floss and what is a sheer money making ploy of having a photo taken with cartoon characters Kung Fu Panda, SpongeBob square pants and peppa pig that have nothing to do with show what so ever.
Unless you’re a diehard fan of the Shoalin Wu Shu Warriors this is one production to miss.