Adelaide Fringe. Casus Circus & Cluster Arts. Ukiyo at Gluttony. 8 Mar 2019
You & I is a must see. It is outstanding entertainment.
It is intelligent physical theatre, circus, dance, acrobatics, trapeze, and magic all rolled into one through the narrative of a touching story about being in a loving and sustaining relationship. But not one word is spoken.
Jesse Scott and Lachlan Mcaulay are the co-founders of Casus, a highly successful and popular circus company. In You & I they bare their own real-life relationship and give us a glimpse into themselves as individuals and also into their partnership – domestic and professional. They are masculine, good looking, and sensitive. Yes, this might be thought of as a ‘gay story’, but lazy labelling like that is to diminish it.
Scott and Mcaulay’s physical feats are impressive and their lithe and toned bodies are tough, very tough. There is much visceral strength in their performance and, as is often the case in circus, one needs to unreservedly rely on the other for one’s very safety. The potential for disaster is never far away, and physical danger threatens at every turn. Is the risk of a different nature because your on-stage partner is also your real-life partner?
There is also great delicacy and sensitivity in the performance. Moments of strength and physicality are contrasted with precise choreographed routines that are deft and intimate. Indeed, they are beautiful.
As audience, we are left in no doubt there is unconditional trust between Scott and Mcaulay. You can see it in the way they look deeply into each other’s eyes, the way they smile and sometimes frown at each other. The depth of their communication is palpable. One senses their relationship is rock solid and will endure all that life can throw at it.
Their show is engaging on a number of levels. The set is simple, as is usually the case for a Fringe event where everything has to be assembled and then stripped away with great speed, but is carefully prepared and designed. It imitates a cosy household setting, with the usual furniture and ornaments. There are books, clothes trunks, glasses of wine, and evidence of hobbies. All these things are used to give a glimpse of Scott and Mcaulay’s daily lives and are used to play out the narrative. Nothing is wasted. The sound scape is appealing as well. Every backing song is carefully chosen and assists in telling the story. The lighting is simple but sharply draws attention to the kernel of activity on stage.
This show is one of many circus acts on offer in the Fringe, but it stands apart. It is exceptional and deserves the long and enthusiastic standing ovation it received from the entire audience.
When: 8 to 17 Mar
Where: Ukiyo at Gluttony