Fringe Review: Circus Fire
Some sparks but no flame from Atomic Vaudeville
Working with a simple, elegant set comprised of three backdrops suggesting the circus tent and working imaginatively amongst the audience, the Atomic Vaudeville company pares this huge tragedy down to a story of a small girl (runaway?), a mother and son and an injured soldier, all trapped in the tent that caught fire in Hartford on July 6, 1944. The WWII context of the story is well presented and the portrayal of little Donald, his father away at war, and his mother is touching and quietly comic.
The story begins with a young girl listening to the railway tracks, playing with a toy circus and then excitedly reading a found poster for the circus. The acting here is light and playful and we return to the girl throughout. As her poster blows away (a nice touch), the stage is transformed into the circus – we see elephants, various circus performers and, lastly, the Big Top going up. It is here that the show begins to reveal its problems. While the movement is reasonably precise, it is neither dynamic nor dramatic enough to provide the thrill and excitement of the circus and does not drive the story forward or enhance the atmosphere. There is only so much time that we want to watch four actors being elephants, horses or big cats – it begins to look like actors in workshop. Likewise, the clowning often falls short, with the clowns not developed enough individually and not given enough space in the performance to work this exceptionally difficult technique. Unfortunately, these shortfalls make it impossible to really feel the immense tragedy of the story; it is difficult to engage as we watch the actors attempt to physically portray the chaos and panic in the tent as the fire rages.
The Atomic Vaudeville performers are impressive at times in their inventive theatrical transformations and ensemble play and the actor playing Donald’s mother is outstanding throughout. Circus Fire, however, needed to combine their light playfulness and obviously rich creative skills with a more forceful physicality and depth of story to do justice to its content.
Atomic Vaudeville/Janet Munsil
Divadlo na Pradle, until 3.6, 21:00
Video on YouTube
David Ives' All In The Timing at Kolowrat by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Seven short plays capture the feel of New York in the 1980s
Afterparty premieres at Archa by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: Divadlo Archa)
A new play applies Václav Havel's ideas to the current political landscape
Fashion is our Cultural Mirror by Tran Cao - Anglo American University
Retro @ National Museum’s New Building, open till April 30th, 2017
Juergen Teller: Enjoy Your Life! by Annie Friesen - Anglo American University (Foto: galerierudolfinum.cz)
Juergen Teller: Enjoy Your Life! @ Galerie Rudolfinum till 19.03.2017
The Municipal Museum presents Prague in the 18th century by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
Almost 200 rare prints are in the exhibit Prague Vedute of the 18th Century
Brian Eno, Ai Weiwei to kick off National Gallery 2017 season by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
A series of new works by several artists will have a Grand Opening on March 16
Jára Cimrman needs your help by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
A crowdfunding campaign is underway to send The Stand In to the US
Jan Merta’s Gallery Inside a Gallery by Markéta Hrehorová - Anglo American University (Foto: ghmp.cz)
"Gallery" @ Municipal Library till 12. 3. 2017
Review: Deaf Empire by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV
A new play tries to shed light on the often difficult life of Bedřich Smetana
Bob Dylan's art will be at Old Town Hall by Raymond Johnston - Prague.TV (Foto: livenation)
the famous singer and songwriter also makes sketches while on the road
Catsit.cz® provides cat sitting services in Prague. Other...
Finest Burgers - American Quality - NEW Location - Lesnická...
No Contracts, No Hassles, just quality satellite television
First Cobbler's Prague Bakery Cup Cake Shop @ PALLADIUM!
First diamonds museum in Prague
Trabant Museum @ STK Motol
Armádní muzeum Žižkov
Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády