Review – Seaside Cirque
G-Live Guildford Surrey
Producer Debbie King for TAG
Reviewer Johnny Tait
When I was a child a circus often consisted of Lions and Elephants, and trapeze artistes performing dangerous stunts. But now we are all aware there have been reports of cruelty to some circus animals. Additionally today’s added focus on matters pertaining health and safety means we can no longer even stand on a chair.
Is there any future for this well loved tradition that has entertained whole families for generations?
T.A.G. founded by Debbie King and Andy Mills-Brown with their executive producer Stuart Glover have answered that with a big fat yes. Their new touring production, aimed at the holiday centre market, Seaside Cirque not only brings the circus up to date, it breathes so much new life into it. The show had the mainly trade audience enthralled throughout, never was there a dull moment.
In the space of 45 minutes we were entertained by Juggler’s, floating crystal balls, unicyclists, clowns playing trombones, roller-skaters, an amazing balancing act that went up to 18 feet, trampoline artistes, dancers and stilt walkers.
The remarkable musical arrangements by Michael Hobday were incredibly well put together. I liked the way the old classic Smile, which is often associated with Chaplin, was mixed with a modern day tune to create a tender love scene. There was also a musical fusion of great songs like Superstition and Thriller. Added for further effect were props consisting of large broken pieces of mirror and a giant hoop with an acrobat moving inside in a way I would never have imagined possible. This managed to create the most mind-boggling of scenes. The creativity just keeps moving along in this production, taking the audience on a roller-coaster ride that many apparently did not want to end.
The chorerography by Tracey Iliffe, Jordan Cather and Nicholas Sheehy is so well crafted that those of us who were fortunate enough to be in the audience were absolutely spell-bound.
The costumes and the make-up are created by a company called Cyber Sausage. All kept within the circus theme were exceptionally creative and striking.
Whatever I say about this amazing highly entertaining musical extravagance I cannot do it justice, if you get the chance to see “Seaside Cirque” bring all of your family and friends with you, and not one of you will be disappointed.
Some people associate pantomime with Christmas, the rest of us associate such shows with good clean fun entertainment for the whole family. This is why T.A.G touring the Haven parks this summer with their version of Aladdin. This production is written by Mark James and produced by Stuart Glover. The show is set for a trip to Morocco and the audience is welcomed by the extremely eye-catching Slave of the Ring , played by Laurie Fogg, who spoke with an Essex girl accent that was stronger that any I have ever heard before, even in Dagenham. On to the stage bounced Aladdin (Oli Marraige) Dame Donna Kebab (David Rumelle) appeared to indulge in the old pantomime tradition of throwing sweets into the audience. Repeating this in front of am holiday park audience may result in a mini-riot, with kids jumping all over each other to get at the sweeties. Dame Donna Kebab informs us that she got her name because she is hot and spicy, but Aladdin corrected and said it was because when the men see her they say “Oi Shish”! Of course in pantomime we must have romance and that was provided by the beautiful Princess Jasmine (Amy Killman). But true love never runs smoothly, and to put a spanner in the works, The Evil Queen Hareen (Pippa Cole) delivers a mind blowing performance that was second to none in terms of comic nastiness. The show is very well cast, with Rory the Tiger as Genie of the Lamp. The scenery is well designed and easily and efficiently portable and takes us quickly from one scene to the next, Costuming is colourful, and the resulting pace is fast and fun. I loved the sound effects for both the magic carpet and the fight scenes and everything was well choreographed.
The show is sure to hit the mark in the holiday park sector and this was a great opportunity for TAG to showcase two of their productions in these Guildford surroundings.