Robert Tanitch reviews 7 Fingers Sequence 8 at Peacock Theatre, London WC2
The days when audiences would roll up to watch animals being humiliated in a big tent have long since passed. Modern circuses are more likely to be found in a theatre. 7 Fingers, a circus troupe from Montreal, is far more intimate and more human than the juggernaut Cirque du Soleil.
The seven performing artists are all graduates of the National Circus School of Montreal.
They are a talented and likeable troupe, dexterous and flexible comrades in arms. Individually and collectively, they do dare-devil things with a light and amicable touch plus a sense of humour. They instantly engage with the audience.
She treats the bar as if it were a trampoline and springs higher and higher and higher, doing double and treble somersaults and always landing back on the bar.
In the second half Royer does more astonishing feats, this time within an aerial hoop and at a frenetic spinning speed, twirling and contorting her body. There is no safety net. It is all jaw-dropping stuff.
Devin Henderson scampers up a high and thin Chinese pole, as if it was a tree, and then does breathtaking gymnastics. He slides down the pole; head first, at speed and stops just inches from the ground. He also dives through small-ringed hoops with impressive precision; there is very little space for him to get through.
Ugo Dario and Maxim Laurin do amazing feats on a Korean teeterboard which means they are constantly leaping higher and higher and somersaulting and swapping places in mid-air before they land back on the sea-saw.
Eric Bates juggles three large brick-size cigar boxes with amazing skill. Tristan Nielsen and Camille Legris do difficult feet-on-hands stunts as if it were the easiest thing in the world.
The Peacock Theatre was packed. 7 Fingers Sequence 8 is entertainment for the whole family.