Knee Deep

Rating ****
Reviewed by Tony Peters

Featuring Casus

Australian contemporary circus quartet Casus bring their astonishing demonstration of physical theatre to London’s Riverside Studios with the show that proved so popular at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and recently won an award at the Brighton Festival.

Forget any preconceptions you might have about circus, however, because this often-breathtaking show blurs the edges between traditional skills, acrobatics and even contemporary dance.

Over the course of 60 seamless minutes Emma Serjeant, Jesse Scott, Natano Fa’anana and Lachaln McAulay present a series of physical feats that defy gravity and push human strength seemingly to the limits. But rather than being a visceral display of power, it’s all done with a grace and tenderness that’s at odds with what’s being achieved.

There are moments of fun, such as when Fa’anana uses his body as a percussive instrument, and a moment of don’t-try-this-at-home dark humour when Emma Serjeant hammers a nail (a pretty big nail, I’m telling you) up her nose. No, really, up her nose!

The show is presented in the round with the performers in close proximity to the audience. At the press night I was seated in the front row and more than once I became worried about having a Casus member in my lap, which only added to the thrill.

It’s safe to say there’s nothing quite like this in London at the moment and I think we’ll be seeing a lot more of this incredible group.