Watch something off the beaten track with No Show, directed by Ellie Dubois and currently running at Soho Theatre. This all-female circus production, which mixes various genres, dazzles the audience, as well as entertains.
Ellie Dubois’ No Show is not a classic theatre performance. Neither is it a circus show, nor an open mic evening. It’s a witty mixture of all these genres, spiced up with some stand-up bits and old style cabaret-like acts. We are invited behind the scenes of the circus performers and get to learn pieces of their personal stories.
Some share and demonstrate the dangers of their act, while others remember funny, or in some cases, sad stories from their training years and career progression. For instance, the series of small acts shows how one of the performers is taught by her colleagues how to behave on stage; she’s not allowed to address the audience with a greeting speech, no. Instead, she’s supposed to perform some dancing routine, go into the acrobatic act, and at the highest pressure point turn to the audience and smile effortlessly. And a cheesy wink to the gentleman in the front row, of course!
It is these sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing scenes which make the show what it is, walking us through all stereotypes about circus performers and their acts. Over the course of an hour, we dive into their world and get a chance to discover a lot of new things about their daily routine.
What I enjoyed most about this show is the opportunity to see the acrobats performing so close up, the Soho Theatre which hosts the show has a small and cosy stage with about 150 seats, making the performance feel almost intimate. Even when you know the act and expect what will happen next, you still cannot hold your awe when these girls perform that close to you. Another great thing is the light-hearted humour that spices each and every bit of the performance. Some insider jokes, some real competition, and the authenсity rather than acting of the girls on stage, make No Show especially charming.
It does have quite a short running time and a limited selection of acts performed, but if you come here to see the unusual theatre performance rather than a great circus show ala Cirque du Soleil, you will not regret your choice.
It’s a modern and entertaining show, perfect rest after a long working day. What’s even better? You can head downstairs after the performance and live through each and every impressive trick from the show over a drink in the theatre’s bar. I recommend this production for those who are not great fans of classic theatre or classic circus and are looking for something different and fun. Ellie Dubois’s No Show runs in the Soho Theatre in London until February 9th.