“I’ll choose this circus show for my last Fringe Festival review,” I thought. “I love circus shows; I’ll be sure to end on a high note,” I thought. More fool I.
There were a few bits of Twisted Beats & Circus Freaks that were enjoyable, but I honestly clapped the hardest when it was finally over.
Simone Lazar, the cortortionist and aerialist of the show is marvelous. She’s funny and deftly understated in her stage business, combined with great skill and grace in her tricks. When she was onstage, I was delighted. Riveted. Dreamily satisfied that there exist in the world teensy tiny women of extraordinary strength who can flex or point their teensy tiny feet and make an entire room laugh. I would happily pay real money to watch Simone Lazar perform for sixty minutes. Unfortunately for us, Lazar was performing for, at the most generous estimate, fifteen minutes. This left us forty-five minutes with her partner, Jesse Horne.
I did not love Jesse.
I didn’t, really, even like him very much – especially not by the end. I had very little idea what he was doing, or why, through much of the show – the extended business with the troll dolls in the suitcase just bewildered me. I suspect some of the original rap lyrics might have been clever, but between a fritzing headset-microphone, an Australian accent, and the heavy bass of the backbeat, I really have no idea. And his frenetic dancing, though briefly amusing, stretched into an endurance event.
The juggling was all right, four clubs with a semi-comedic pick-up artist spiel to go with the juggling tricks, but then came the (apparently obligatory this season) joke about transwomen and I struggled with the impulse to take the clubs away and bop him with them. The humour highlight of Horne’s part of the show was coaxing a female volunteer from the audience to put an adult diaper on him, over his clothes. If that seems uproarious to you, you might like this better than I did.
Parents, be advised – this show is peppered significantly with frankly Anglo-Saxon swear words and quite a bit of masturbation humour. The “love story” referenced in the program may have been a euphemism.
I wish I thought this were better, but I just don’t.
July 10, 7:30pm
July 12, 6:15pm
July 13, 12:30pm
July 14, 3:30pm
- Tickets for all Mainstage productions are $10 at the door, cash only.
- Advance tickets are $11, and can be purchased online, by phone (416-966-1062 ext. 1), or from the festival box office at the Fringe Club. (Rear of Honest Ed’s, 581 Bloor St. West)
- Money-saving value packs are also available; see website for details.
- LATECOMERS ARE NEVER ADMITTED TO FRINGE SHOWS. To avoid disappointment, be sure to arrive a few minutes before curtain.