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Review of Ellie Dubois’ No Show at Soho Theatre

Ellie Dubois' No Show, Platform - courtesy of Chris Reynolds
Ellie Dubois’ No Show, Platform – courtesy of Chris Reynolds

This is an extraordinary show, full of joy and passion and so much energy. It’s part theatre, part circus (mainly circus), with a large splash of comedy. It explores what circus performers go through to put on a show that satisfies an audience. It’s funny, smart, gently political and a complete treat!

The premise is that it reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship of circus performance, but it’s much more than that. It’s about the pursuit of more, from both performer and audience. It’s about the love of a craft, the dedication that goes into being ‘professional’ and the obstacles faced whilst trying to pursue your dream.

Five brilliant strong women, Francesca Hyde, Kate McWilliam, Michelle Ross, Alice Gilmartin & Camille Taylor stand before us and show us their spectacular skills, they chat, they compete, they collaborate. Their physical abilities are astounding and it’s really exciting to see circus performed in such a small theatre space. The intimate atmosphere of Soho Theatre really works for this show, and at times adds new levels of jeopardy for the audience.

The dialogue feels spontaneous and fun. The performers are all really likeable and relatable – even though their talents stand them apart from most people in the room. The running ‘joke’ of Alice being cajoled and bullied into pushing herself further is brilliantly played out and reminds us of the resilience and rehearsal needed for every tiny movement.

Director and devisor, Ellie Dubois has an excellent track record of innovative performance theatre and No Show is a unique, fun, athletically brilliant one hour show that feels impossible not to enjoy.

Go see it. It’s fantastic and original.

5 Star Rating

Review by Roz Wyllie

Following a highly successful UK tour and an award-winning run at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, Ellie Dubois’ No Show now transfers to Soho Theatre. Putting female strength, skill and power centre stage, No Show joyously and heartbreakingly deconstructs superhuman circus performers and reveals what lies hidden beneath the showmanship of circus.

No Show opens with five strong, glamorous circus artists showcasing their spellbinding acrobatics and flexibility – the perfect ‘show girls’. But, after this opening number, the show starts to break down and No Show begins to unveil attempts and failures, revealing frustrations and how artists are pitted against each other. The audience learn of everything that could go wrong from finger crushing to concussion and shoulder dislocation in a Cyr Wheel act.

No Show
Performance Dates Tuesday 22nd January – Saturday 9th February 2019
Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1D 3NE

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