Circus Review: La Verità – State Theatre, Melbourne Arts Centre (21 to 23 January 2015)

La Verità could only be described as a swift fall down a rabbit hole where reality is warped and nothing is as it seems. Surrealist tones are prevalent throughout this offbeat circus extravaganza which revolves around the discovery of one of Salvador Dali’s scrims that was found in a wooden box in a theatre after being forgotten for 50 years. Being a fan of both Dali and circus, I was intrigued to see what beautiful concoction this recipe would produce.

As the curtain opens we are introduced to our MC for the evening who welcomes the audience as if we were perspective buyers at an auction. We soon come to find that the show revolves around this concept, and throughout are told that the auction will be beginning shortly. The acts are revealed and we are introduced to the main cast who are all extremely multi talented and dabble in up to 4 or 5 different skills. There were jugglers, acrobats, contortionists, and singers all skilful in balancing, swinging, and flying around the stage. All performers showed great feats of strength that thoroughly impressed the audience, in particular the female performers were extremely skilful and matched the men in both talent and strength. The sets were interesting, and the layout of the stage fit in well with the theme. There was a stunningly orchestrated act where thousands of tiny objects fell from the ceiling in continuous formation displaying a never-ending series of choreographed beauty. This was my absolute favourite moment of the show that had me truly immersed int the art, and mesmerised at the spectacle.

Melbourne has been inundated with circus acts and shows over the last year, so to really stand out a show has to have some point of difference. I found La Verità to be incredibly unique in both its delivery and thematic response. Although I’d seen some of the routines before in various other circus shows, they still managed to put a rather cinematic spin on their acts which made the show intrinsically centred around the art of the performance rather than purely on the circus aspects. The contemporary nature of the piece made it quite hypnotising in the fact that there was so much happening on stage at all times that you didn’t quite know where to look. Whilst the main act was on, there was something happening in the background and on the side of stage, and in the front. Whilst this was somewhat distracting at times, it did add that crazy element to the performance and lend itself even more to the surrealist nature of the story.

La Verità would definitely appeal more to the artists amongst us and lovers of all things weird, wacky, and wonderful. Surrealism has truly taken over Melbourne lately, and it’s fantastic to see this art form so celebrated. Individuality should always be applauded, and I feel like La Verità strives to be just that. Its uniqueness makes it beautiful, and its performers make it whole. Bravo to a magnificent performance.

The reviewer attended the performance on 21st January 2015.