Last Sunday afternoon Liz and I got to use our Xmas present which was 2 tickets to Saltimbanco. We had the option of Melbourne or Adelaide seeing we live so far across the state and eventually opted for marvellous Melbourne and the tennis centre.
I’m in a quandary about how to write up this review because there were some things I loved about the show but others that were less than optimal. In the end I think it was the venue that let the show down.
Firstly I have to give a big plus for the costumes and the music (and the stage setting). The use of colour and music was a real pleasure and of course the acrobatics were astounding. There were several heart stopping moments when acrobats were flying through the air and one even fell from one of the poles but luckily it was the lower person on a 2 person stunt.
But the problems. Too many clowns. About half the program was filled with clown sketches and when you are up in the nose bleeds, it’s hard to pick the more subtle gestures. Even worse was the use of lighting that was directed into the crowd. For almost all of a brilliant high aerial act featuring a lady on a swing, a strong light was projected into our area of the crowd.
Just why it was needed is beyond me. The artist was high above but to watch her you had to shield your eyes from the spotlight. Every once in a while someone on the stage would sit in line with it but eventually they would move on and the problem returned.
To end on a positive, I really enjoyed the band too and at one stage the slipped into the intro for a little AC DC. They didn’t continue with it but were terrific just the same.
Would I go again? In a smaller venue, yes, and if they return to the original format of Saltimbanco which I’m told had a lot more aerial work.