Ondadurto Teatro – C’Era Una Volta

Out There International Festival of Circus & Street Arts, Great Yarmouth, Friday 18 September 2015

C’Era Una Volta started off so mystical and enchanting that I didn’t want to take my eyes away from what was happening, I felt in awe and bewilderment by the sounds and the colour that introduced the story. It all began with a ‘once upon a time…’ and a taste of melancholic music that suited, with the sour-and-sweet character of the red queen who glided creepily around the stage on a high, metallic mechanism in a shape and form of a beetle-like insect. This worked really well as the audience was transfixed on her sly movements and her enchanting stare of malice and secrecy. We all knew then that she was evil; as the quality of the production developed this with red lights and clouds of smoke as they changed scene to scene as the story unfolded.

It all took me back to what I knew of the Grimm’s fairy tale rendition of Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood and Cinderella as I saw a snippet of each story within the modern twist of 1930’s ‘gangster style’ Chicago, to a normal day in a life of a young girl who changes from one fairy tale to another, playing as the main characters, with dancing and choreographed performances that changed the stage left right and centre throughout the show. It always kept you on your feet and made the audience feel warm hearted and excited for what was going to happen next.

The highlight of the performance for me was the flying scooter. They created an illusion of a scooter flying through the air, as a man sang his heart out to the girl in the tower.  The smoke effect really created the scene while the mellow music put you into a soothing, warm hearted mood. The story was clear to see, the production team making sure of that with projected images, giant mechanical props and special effects. They created magical images that I never thought would be possible outside with no fakery but just a hint of trickery and tell-tale cheekiness which was also done throughout the performance. It worked so well with the Great Yarmouth audience as they had things that people of all ages recognised.

What an incredible show! I had no idea what to expect, but I was absolutely blown away. One of the best shows I have ever seen.

Review: Angelica Urfano

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