Review: Crash – Chivaree Circus

Crash – Chivaree at Cockpit Theatre 21st & 22nd August


Review By Natalie Baker

Chivaree is primarily a circus/speciality performance based agency. They provide entertainment from stilt walkers or fire eaters at a festival to full on dance or stunt acts for corporate events. By the looks of their website, you name it they can provide it.

They also produce their own productions and following on from the critically acclaimed run in Waterloo, Chivaree present their new production, Crash – A Celebration. Cleverly produced by Edward Gosling, Crash is a masterful mix of circus, aerial arts and acrobatics. A show unlike no other, sent to throw us into a hurricane of feelings. This show holds moments of emotional intensity, and is a story about life’s ups and downs, and a celebration of being human.


About 30 years ago I went to my first circus show. My parents took me to see a touring circus every year, usually around bonfire time. I never really loved it. Personally I don’t like seeing wild animals anywhere other than in their natural habitat. I can’t stand clowns and trapeze artists petrify me. You may wonder why on earth is this woman reviewing a circus show?!

But this isn’t just any circus show. This is a very grown up circus. I get the feeling it’ll be unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

The Cockpit theatre is the perfect venue. Small, intimate and minimal. No set, just a square room with tiered seating on all four sides. Its Stage is central to everyone, perfect. Although I think Chivaree could bring this show to any venue and make it work. The talent, creativity and passion is what makes this show.


Dusty Limits is the perfect MC. Poetic dialogue seductively delivered opens the evening. He reappeared in between the different acts. Each time reminding us of different feelings and emotions we have all experienced (or will one day) throughout our lifetime. His engagement with the audience was playful and the dialogue thought-provoking.

The first feeling was jaw-dropping and set the bar incredibly high. Lil Rice effortlessly sings the most heartbreaking song whilst spinning within her Cyr wheel. She is faultless and I was mesmerised.

One after another the performers delivered on all aspects. Rebecca Rennison using the Aerial silks to translate to me utter lust in an almost self-destructive way. But then I felt the excitement for the happiness of new beginnings for two young lovers, perhaps, translated by hand on hand performers Peter Freeman and Loric Fouchereau.

This truly was a roller coaster of emotions and I loved every minute.


I can’t leave out one of the finishing touches of this show that really added to the story. Designed and individually handmade by Director Laurane Marchive & Co Costume Designer Black Lune, the costumes captivate the essence of the show perfectly and provide a strong support to the whole story.

In summary

Circus has moved on. I can see a whole group of new followers and I’m one of them.

Song, performance and art are just a few of the different ways to translate feelings so powerfully. This is a must-see show, which will entertain on all levels. My only negative is that I wanted it to go on for another hour.

Now I’m off to join the circus…..