The Moscow State Circus
The Lowry, 17 March 2011
At the start, when the tune of Boney M’s ‘Rasputin’ rings out, you realise that this is unlikely to be an authentic Russian circus experience.
It is enjoyable and entertaining enough, though.
Rasputin’s spiritual journey, the crooked road he often walked, provides a narrative hook for the various circus acts. As an example, he is tempted by a siren who, Eve-like, proffers him an apple to bite into. And then we get an archer and his lovely assistant, their act ending when the apple is shot off the archer’s head. That kind of thing happens throughout.
There are acrobats, jugglers, some very funny clowns and other acts, including the aforementioned archer and his lovely assistant. All the acts that you’d expect to see in a circus, in fact. But no lions or other big cats, not nowadays. No elephants either.
If you’re looking for glitzy family entertainment, though, you’ve come to the right place. The children in the audience loved it, and loved one very clumsy clown especially. What the author of Concerning the Spiritual in Art would have made of it is anybody’s guess, mind.