THE Moscow Circus’s new Babushkin Sekret show centres around the story of Valery, the son of a rich family he disowned many years earlier.
Once he hears his family has fled the revolution and had their property and possessions confiscated, he returns home to buy back any remnants from his family’s history.
Valery, played by Valerik the clown, and his side kick Valik carried the show, which was staged at the Gaiety Theatre over the weekend. Valerik is also an excellent mime artist and one of my children said the best part of the show was his scenes with a suitcase that defied gravity and a ‘human doll’ which kept trying to fall over or hit him.
But the show also offered many other fantastic spectacles. The acrobatics started with a girl in a revolving aerial chandelier, 20ft above the stage. She gyrated in a beautifully-embellished costume, while spinning hoola hoops.
Another woman managed to use the illusion of spinning in sails to entertain us. This she even did in high heels!
My personal favourite, however, was the skipping group Skakacki 9. They offered traditional team skipping but with lots of extras such as skipping while sitting on chairs and even tandem skipping, with one man on another’s shoulders. That was pretty amazing and drew the first spontaneous applause from the audience. Then came the fast changing Duo Shmandrovskiys, a husband and wife team whose swift costume changes were mesmerisingly smooth. Their act culminated in a final change which was only hidden by shimmering glitter confetti.
Jugglers also impressed the audience. When the lights went out and their pins were illuminated, it drew gasps from the audience. We saw chairs being stacked high swaying under the weight of the balancing acrobat. They really kept us on the edge of our seats. And a roller skating couple danced and twirled with dangerous looking neck spins balancing on a small round platform.
A circus wouldn’t be complete without clowns and some magic tricks, and our clown Valerik performed the ‘sawing a woman in two’ trick superbly. The unique part was that we got to see the feet end and head end walk away from each other!
All the performers are seasoned professionals and there is no disputing their years of work and dedication. Their acts were accompanied by a great mix of music through the ages and from around the world.
The story was difficult for younger children to follow but it didn’t stop them from enjoying the stunning scenery and talented performances. And the slapstick element throughout the performance made every one of them giggle.