A Festival of Circus…

It’s the last school holidays of the year – so it’s time for the Festival CiRca, or to give it’s full name, the 36e Festival de Cirque Actuel.

As usual, the festival last a week, and for me started on the first Saturday with a belgian compagnie called Grensgeval who presented us with « Murmur« 


Very innovative – the audience, sitting on the scene with the actor, all wore small backpacks which they were not allowed to open. Some of the backpacks contained Bluetooth speakers and at certain moments of the show, these came to life and the sound followed the actor around the scene – very enjoyable, and a great start to my week.

Next up were old friends the Cie Aïtal (based in Toulouse) – their show « A Ciel Ouvert » (Out in the Open) was typical extreme, and great slapstick circus.

A Ciel Ouvert

Unusually for modern circus, this also included animals – well, birds in fact! Four chickens, three doves and a pair of ducks – great performance.

Since the weekend I’ve managed to photograph the Federation of French circus schools who have a series of their schools performing each day, and we both enjoyed « ‘Brame » by the Cie Libertivore on Sunday.


The Collectif Sous le Manteau were at the Mouzon this weekend with « Mikado » – pretty obvious why really – the scene was simply a huge number of pipes, a bit like the game ‘Mikado’ – they 6 artists spent their time climbing up and swinging off the structures that they’d created – very dynamic and entertaining.


Cirque Queer gave us « Le Premier Artifice » on Tuesday evening and I have to admit I was slightly disappointed as their normal brand of extravagent costumes and make-up seemed overshadowed by a very inconsistent stage show. The lighting was not brilliant (pun intended) and artists should have realsied by now that wearing hats obscures a lot of the face – a sad waste frankly. We (the photographers) were not allowed into the tent until everyone else as the artists were « stressed » (when aren’t they) – I somehow think the transition from male to female has been taken a little to far….

Le Premier Artifice

Another show with a question mark, and possibly one of the worst I’ve ever seen here in Auch, was by the Cie Diagonale du Vide who gave us « Le l’Hiver, le ciel est bleu » (It’s winter and the sky is blue)

C’est l’Hiver, le Ciel est Bleu

I had occasion to follow their residence here in April, and at the time I thought the spectacle was a bit repetitive and extremely pedestrian – but since then things seem to have got a lot worse. Possibly the most frustrating thing was the almost total lack of actual ‘circus’ – Idriss (the man) played with a series of juggling clubs, but did no actual juggling – when Mona climbed into a mass of rope hanging from the ceiling, her movements were more frenetic than stylish and posed. A great shame as we got on well, and I admit I was hoping for a lot better.

Tonight is free, but for Thursday and Friday I’ll be seeing shows from two groups of artists that I don’t know, which is always fun.