Circus was a delight. It was a fabulous spectacle with brilliant light effects and mime. The storyline was interesting; the dreams and flashbacks kept the audience on the edge of their seats. The stunts and acrobatics were a treat to the eye! The clever miming by Sravanth (as Charlie) and Sandhya (as the circus-girl) kept the audience engrossed. Victor Jayaraj has done a fantastic job of the direction, as coordinating among a more than 40-member cast would have been difficult. Three cheers to MacTrics!
Roshan Bhaskar, Abhiramapuram
Tribute to Chaplin
Circus was a refreshing tale, a lovely tribute to Charlie Chaplin by our home-grown group MacTrics. The cast and crew took us through the journey of Chaplin before and after he realised that his life’s purpose was to entertain people, and where his honest attempts to earn a living went awry, with adventures turning into misadventures. Clever stunts, use of props and shadow play had most of us sitting on the edge of our seats, laughing, clapping wildly and cheering the team on.
The only low points were a few technical issues during scene transitions which could have been handled better and the feeling that the story was a tad too long in reaching a happy conclusion.
Dipali Gupta, Kellys
Circus, a play in English and Tamil and almost entirely mime, was mind blowing. Though it was an adaptation of Charlie Chaplin's Circus, it had many new parts that were entirely comical, thus ensuring that the audience were laughing almost throughout. The shadow play at the outset was brilliant. The mime team's spontaneity and the group that did the humming were fantastic. On the whole, a hilarious and engrossing performance!
B. Hemanth, K. K. Nagar
Promising group, but…
Sixty minutes was more than sufficient for a mime, but it extended beyond that and the scene changes were repetitive, lessening the impact on viewers. A promising group of youngsters who must be appreciated and to MetroPlus for permitting novices to perform! But one does expect better plays at The Hindu Theatre Festival at the end of the day!
Princess Naik, Adyar
Anybody who has seen Charlie Chaplin’s all-time classic, The Circus, was in for a treat with this re-telling of it. The prologue to Charlie’s arrival at Chennai, enacted through exquisite shadow-miming, was followed by a beautiful execution of a mimed play; perfectly timed, with minimal props and wonderfully articulate actors. The Rajni theme music in the theatre scene was especially delightful to the Chennai crowd. And hats off to the Charlie on stage who flawlessly emulated the Charlie Chaplin of old! However, the play would have been more effective had it been shorter. That being said, this was a refreshingly different kind of performance that one does not get to see too often in Chennai. Truly a visual delight!
Janani Venkatesh, Mylapore
Whoever said that the language of love does not require the spoken word may have been referring to the love for theatre brilliantly exemplified by MacTrics’ adaptation of Charlie Chaplin’s timeless ‘The Circus’. The thoroughly engaging performance started with the audience being ushered in with gifts of brightly coloured circus hats, police playing a cat and mouse game running through the audience with torches and the superbly choreographed silhouette drama on Charlie’s life bumbling from one event to another till he comes to the circus.
The herculean effort of the 60-strong cast and crew was evident in the impeccable timing and excellent coordination as Charlie’s attraction for his lady love in the circus unfolded. It seemed that there could be no shape or form that the 40-plus mummers could not contort themselves into, providing animate and inanimate props and backdrops.
Victor Jayaraj’s creditable direction saw Sravanth play Charlie with elan, ably supported by Abhishek, Vikas, Prakash and Sandhya. However, it was the mummers who held us spell-bound.
Bhaswar Mukherjee, Alwarpet
Too long to sustain interest
Circus started well and the audience looked forward to an unusual and bold performance by a local group. But at the end of 50 minutes, the director seemed to have lost his way. When at a certain point there was a rewind/replay it started to become boring. People started leaving the auditorium. The repetitive Chaplinesque movements became irritating. Many acts of a circus were brilliantly choreographed and presented. After 80 minutes the director came on stage to introduce the cast and crew.That long monolgue proved once again that he forgot an important lesson —when to stop, either the play or his speech. In the end, the show became a “circus”. Kudos to the cast and crew though for a brilliant effort.
Pradip Roy Choudhury, Tiruvanmiyur
Scope for improvement
A perform for 90 minutes almost entirely in mime, and hold the attention of the audience is not easy. But MacTrics managed to do this. Human formations are always difficult because there is the risk of collapsing at any moment. But the group pulled it off with aplomb. The ‘mirror maze’ scene was awesome and deserves a special mention.
Perhaps the use of familiar background music and humorous clips would have made the play more interesting for the audience.
Aadhithya. C, Mylapore
Life’s a Circus
The play portrayed true love after a cloud of misunderstanding is dispelled. The actors did justice to their characters. Hats off to the director for clearly bringing out the transition from past to present through a flashback episode towards the end of the drama! While telling the story that takes place against the background of a circus, the playwright directly or indirectly establishes that life itself is a circus and that loving and to be loved are risky. My best wishes to the team for an excellent performance.
Mohan Kumar E., Padi
Keywords: MetroPlus Theatre Fest 2013, MPTF 2013, The Hindu MetroPlus Thetare Fest, theatre fest, theatre festival, Chennai theatre, Indian theatre, theatre in Chennai, Circus, MacTrics, Circus citizen reviews