GREAT CATCH at Korzo in The Hague

For the second edition of Great Catch – fresh taste of circus, the Circus Coalition has curated three original productions by up-and-coming circus talents. Contemporary circus is a modern form of the traditional circus that has evolved over the past few decades. It emphasises artistic expression, storytelling and innovative performance techniques over animals, spectacle, and the classic circus acts as seen in the traditional circus. The cast of Great Catch is touring throughout The Netherlands over the next few months and we were fortunate enough to watch their performance in The Hague last night.

    The evening began with Dutch circus artist Luuk Brantjes who performed his 30-minute-long solo circus piece, L O N E. The act explores the delicate balance between solitude and loneliness, weight and weightlessness which materialised physically as Luuk sprung up and down with the help of a teeterboard and a weight-like structure that resembled a sort-of sandbag. Sober sounds poured from the sound systems which produced a sorrowful impression even though the performance wasn’t inherently melancholic. The subdued lighting allowed the audience to discern the furrow on Luuk’s brow or the playful smile dancing across his lips as he celebrated the art of being alone and demonstrated how welcoming solitude may lead to sensations of joy and repose.

   Next up, Tête-bêche, which consisted off Wilko Schütz, who entered with David Mupanda and Marieke Thijssen coiled around his neck, presented their performance, 3+1. The acrobatic act lasted for an exhilarating 25 minutes. Picture this; one diabolo and three acrobats who confined themselves within the miniature limits of a six metre diameter white circle placed upon a dark stage. The performance was a complex and complicated web of intertwining bodies and diabolo cords. It was impossible to predict what might come next. The jolly tone of 3+1 resembled the gleeful abandon of three children frolicking through a field. Yet, this playful essence did not detract from the undeniable expertise of Tête-bêche, who are evidently masters of their craft.

    Last but by no means least, British comedian Harvey Cobb delivered a segment of his solo performance, Pink Boots and An Alcoholic Sock Puppet. On stage, Harvey concocted a unique mixture of absurdity and earnest sincerity among his terrain of Pink Rain Boots. He effortlessly combined comedy with his jovial juggling routine, encouraging the audience to reflect on their life decisions.

In conclusion, the second edition of Great Catch – fresh taste of circus showcased the versatility and innovation of contemporary circus, leaving the audience both entertained and energised.  Eva Lakeman  1st March 2024