Driftwood - Casus Circus
Harcourts Hawke's Bay Arts Festival
Spiegeltent, Village Green, Havelock North
Thursday, September 28
Reviewed by Linda Hall

As soon as I stepped inside the beautiful Pacific Crystal Palace Spiegeltent I could feel the buzz of excitement.

The lights were low and a haze hung over the stage which made the wood and mirrors insight the tent look marvellously mysterious.

As the sell-out crowd filled the seats anticipation grew. Then the lights dimmed and a spotlight shone on the very funny and talented MC Ali Beal who introduced the Australian act Casus Circus.

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A bright light shone centre stage and the performers came on stage from all directions.

The three men and two women had me mesmerised from that moment until the end, which came far too fast.

I loved the fact that one of the women was so physically strong - at one point she held all of the others on her body.

She was absolutely amazing.

They climbed up and over each other, went from sitting to standing on someone's shoulders in the blink of an eye, and they even body-skipped at one stage.

They were elegant as well as incredibly strong and simply breathtaking to watch. I held my breath a couple of times.

It's a circus like no other I have seen.

They had complete trust in each other and made everything look effortless, however you could see the grit and determination on their faces as they lifted each other, stood on each other and threw a couple of the smaller acrobats through the air.

What I wasn't expecting to do at this show was laugh. But laugh I did as two of the men climbed all over each other.

Their facial expressions were hilarious. There were actually lots of funny moments and also some very poignant ones as life's journeys were played out in dance.

All of the performers had their own moment under the light, some funny, drawing giggles from a youngster in the audience, another drawing gasps from adults as he showed his skills of extreme physical flexibility.

I can't imagine how many hours of rehearsal have gone into this sleek performance.

Every move they made was precise and practised, performed with grace, strength, talent and skill.

I was surprised, delighted and amused by this performance and loved the show of girl power.

By the end of the evening my hands were sore from clapping. Brilliant. I hope they come back next year.