Orlando Fringe Review: Ennui
The buzz around Circus-Arts’ production of Ennui was nowhere near what the production’s title would imply; those who have experienced Fringe before can attest to a certain “ennui” that can accompany singularly titled pretentions. Instead, there was a palpable sense that this might be one of this year’s exceptional sleepers, and that sense was more than realized from the moment the acrobatics forming the fabric of ancient Indian human emotions – eight “rasas” ranging from rage to grief to lust to joy and then some – began to play out for 45 minutes of sometimes uncomfortable, extremely physical interpretation.
Leave the circus (or “Cirque”) comparisons at the door, because what’s really happening as protagonist Brandon Roberts (PB&J Theatre Factory) precariously crab-walks through the bombastically soundtracked uncertainties of his existence is striking in its uniqueness and seeming danger. There are no nets; one acrobat almost fell into the front row of the audience. There are seesaws and flips, slings and boxes, beautiful men and women obviously skilled in their respective gymnastic crafts, jaw-dropping risks – but, mostly, there’s a real heart (almost Siddhartha in its tone) spinning in the center. Without the full range of feeling, life falls apart. Fortunately, in Ennui, nobody has yet fallen down – at least that we know of. Well done.
Circus-Arts – Polk City, FL
Length: 45 minutes
Price: $11 (+svc. charge)