There is a special charm, a sense on wonderment, that you get as you sit under the Big Top. In fact, it’s one of my favourite childhood memories watching a circus – Circus 1903 keeps that wonder and feeling alive.
Base Entertainment Asia brings CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus to the Mastercard Theatre at Marina Bay Sands. Crafted by the producers of the biggest selling magic show in the world, The Illusionists, and award-winning puppeteers of War Horse, CIRCUS 1903 transports to the turn-of-the century when circus was immersed in death-defying high-wire acts, knife-throwers and more.
The circus has always been at the centre of pop-culture – from thrilling acts, and cotton candy to the stuff of nightmares as creepy run-down structures and the refuge of killer clowns. There’s always been something mystical about a circus.
While the acts contain all the thrills and sense of danger you would expect from a circus, CIRCUS 1903 offers an exciting new twist.
Circus 1903, does very well to weave together theatrical artistry and storytelling together with the acts themselves. The stage evolves in front of the audience from Act 1 where it is set in front of the circus with trucks, props and rigging, while Act 2 then features the tent, flagpoles and rigging being raised into the roof of the theatre.
It is then midway through the show where the ‘Big Top’ is set proper and the Ringmaster declares that the show is ready to begin.
Unlike the traditional circus, 1903 does not feature any live animals. However, thanks to sensational puppetry, the model makers who created the National Theatre’s War Horse, CIRCUS 1903 will brings the largest ever performing African elephants to life, in the ring.
These puppets feature groundbreaking advances in design and expression – a mother and baby elephant which takes four puppeteers to animate, will captivate you with their life-like movements as the mother teaches her baby to perform in the circus.
However, it is the Ringmaster who truly steals the show. His presence, comedic timing and wit make a fantastic cocktail for a truly entertaining evening. His interaction with the audience is top-notch and touching even.
Producers Simon Painter and Tim Lawson, who have created Le Grand Cirque, Le Noir, Cirque Adrenaline and The Illusionists in over 250 cities from London to Sydney to Broadway, as well as presenting A Chorus Line, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Fiddler on the Roof through Australia and Asia have one a fantastic job in re-creating the circus feel.
Following the world premiere season in Australia CIRCUS 1903 – The Golden Age of Circus transferred directly to Los Angeles and New York. To recreate the grand days of the circus that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats, scenic artist Todd Ivins has designed an extraordinary and decadent circus tent.
Further adding to the period feel are recreations of original turn-of-the-century circus costumes designed by Angela Aaron. These were inspired by authentic photographic collections, studying historical museum pieces and discussing with experts and historians. And accentuating the appropriate accents to the acts, is music and soundtrack composed by Evan Jolly, who has composed many of Painter and Lawson’s international hits.
From flagpoles and rigging being raised into the roof of the theatre, exotic “elephants”, contortionists, acrobats, stilt-walkers and to other circus folk performing circus acts from history, CIRCUS 1903 truly is a unique and captivating circus extravaganza that is perfect for audiences of all ages.
Circus 1903 is now performing at the The Mastercard Theatre at Marina Bay Sands from 18 Apr – 29 Apr 2018. Tickets are available from Mastercard Theatres, MBS.