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Review: Knee Deep - Riverside Studios ✭✭✭

Knee Deep
Riverside Studios

After seeing a few contemporary dance/circus shows in the last few weeks, Knee Deep is playing at the Riverside Studios in Hammersmith. I was amazed by Limbo at London Wonderground recently, so Knee Deep had a a fair bit to live up to in my expectations. But unlike the razzmatazz of Limbo with pulsating music, colourful lighting and high energised performances - Knee Deep keeps it simple, more low key and on a smaller stage to other shows out there.

Played in the round on a small square stage, we are ushered into the very dimly lit auditorium, so dim that it's a good job there aren't any programmes as you would have trouble reading them in the light. The show starts off with some egg walking, which is followed by throwing each other about - there is a lot of this throughout the show, and after a while, it does become rather dull to watch it over and over again. There's the usual array of circus skills implemented - trapeze, hand balancing, a couple of silk/rope routines, lots of balancing with each other and even a nail into the nose - but nothing stood out as the evening went by. The cast of four have the acrobatability as good as any other performers, but the concept of the show is rather lacking.

The production side of things are a bit of a let down, very simple lighting, at times very dim which is difficult to see the movement on stage, and a splash of colour added into a few numbers. The music was slow a lot of the time and didn't add any depth to the show. A video camera is used for some close up shots, but again due to poor lighting, you couldn't tell on the screens what was in shot and at one point what was being made from some paper.

A big overhaul of the show is needed to keep audiences on their toes, instead of drifting into boredom at seeing another circus show in London. The idea is there, the huge skill from the performers is there, but it needs better direction and technical back up to make this a show to praise highly, instead of being knee deep where it currently is.

Three stars ✭✭✭

Until June 22 riversidestudios.co.uk

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