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Published on September 8th, 2009 | by darraghdoyle


Go see Cirque de Legume at Filmbase this week. You’ll love it.

What it’s called: The Cirque de Légume
Where it is: Filmbase, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
When it is: Tonight to Saturday September 12 at 9m
How long it is: 55 minutes
How much it is: €16 or €13

What they say:

Quite simply the Greatest Vegetable Circus on Earth! In this piece of comic absurd theatre we meet Mister & Missus, two genius performers who find a hidden beauty in cast-off vegetables from which they make a wonderful show full of excitement, danger, and sensuality!

Marvel at the Veget-animal! Gape at the Magical Carrot! Enthrall at the Leek of Power! Fantasise over the Onion Strip Tease! The Cirque de Légume shows us how beautiful life can be if we only stop to play with it. You’ll never look at an onion the same way again.

What I say:

The only proper way to start this review of Cirque de Légume, part of the ABSOLUT FRINGE festival this year is with this photo:

That was taken last night at Filmbase before the show started. A small, intimate venue, the few of us crowded in wondering exactly what it was we had come to see. I mean, come on, a circus of vegentables? I know Fringe is “out there” but how interesting could even the best performers in the world make this?

I laughed so much I thought I might wet myself.

No photos, no words, no long exploaration of what the two clowns did last night is going to be enough to explain how brilliant, random and completely unexpected this show was. It was hilarious. It was magical. It was, as the show literature explained, a true example of

“how beautiful life can be if we only stop to play with it.”

In the space of just under an hour Steph and I were treated to more magic with ordinary vegetables than I could ever have thought possible. It was deceptive how easy Jaimie Carswell and Nancy Trotter made it all look. Turning a lettuce (perhaps a cabbage?) into a trained animal for carrots. Watching the power of a leek over a Spanish horse. Hypnosis with a baby turnip and a sensual, sexy, a-peel-ing strip of an onion and, oh, the seal of Poland – I couldn’t stop laughing.

Honestly, I was so delighted I went I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone with even the slightest sense of humour and who is willing to be surprised and impressed. It very much indulged my inner child and made it laugh, cheer and clap loudly. I loved the state of the floor afterwards as well…

The show, directed by Pablo Ibarluzea is clowning and performance at its finest. The buffoon is out in force. Jaimie Carswell, a performer who has trained at the University of Kansas, the University of Birmingham and completed the two-year professional training course at the Eclole Jacques Lecoq in Paris, where he met Nancy Trotter and the show developed from there. Nancy, who has previously performed with the acclaimed Giffords Circus has been working with the Footsbarn Theatre Company and has been creating theatre and working in film since.

As great as Jaimie is – and the fact he can do this show back to back with being in The Blanch is extremely impressive – I have a big soft spot for the talent of Nancy in making me believe al at once she was a stern ringmaster, a hypnotised mouse squirrel, a seal and a very sexy woman. I sat down with both of them after the show to find out more.

Do yourself a favour. Go see The Cirque de Légume. I promise, you’ll be glad you did. I certainly am.

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About the Author

Blogger, event addict and fan of street and performance art. You can contact me directly at darraghdoyle[at]gmail[dot]com or @darraghdoyle on twitter.

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