Features

An absolute ruckus

Selin Azimkar reviews Revel Puck Circus’ festive show at Fellowship Square, finding it to be a celebration of joy, community, and the universal language of laughter

Acrobats with a balloon for a head, hula hoops, weightlifters, and bendy spines are just some of what the Revel Puck Circus has to offer. Credit: Penny Dampier

In the heart of Walthamstow, a progressive circus takes centre stage, captivating audiences with a fresh approach to the longstanding art form. Meet the Revel Puck Circus, a talented and innovative troupe that emerged in 2018, determined to redefine the public perception of circuses.

The circus show has been entertaining Waltham Forest residents since its debut in Leyton Jubilee Park in 2021. They took their big top tent to Waltham Forest Town Hall for a festive residency running from the 14th December to 1st January. Called The Ruckus, it absolutely lived up to its name.

In Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Oberon, the king of fairies, instructs Puck, a powerful, mischievous, and humorous fairy, to use the juice of a magical flower, ensuring that characters fall in love with the next person they see. 

It is no secret that Puck the fairy and the Revel Puck Circus both use the power of whimsical and fantasy-infused magic. The Revel Puck Circus performers create a spellbinding show that leaves their audience enchanted and captivated in their fascinating realm of entertainment.

From aerial hoops to human-sized balloons, the circus acts kept the audience on their toes, Credit: Michael Lynch

Drawing a parallel to the magical flower that Puck uses in Shakespeare’s play, the Revel Puck Circus harnessed a similar enchantment. Instead of a mystical potion, the magic there lies in the circus performers’ artistry, skill, and sheer brilliance.

As Puck’s love potion causes characters to love the first person they see, the circus’s enchanting acts and dazzling displays have a comparable effect on their audience. The Revel Puck Circus audience is drawn into a world of wonder and whimsy, where every performance exhibits pure magic.

Credit: Michael Lynch

Just like Puck’s antics led to humorous and unpredictable performances, the Ruckus encourages the audience’s laughter with random and comedic performances. This fun comedy on stage fosters a connection and love for the performances and characters in the show.

An embodiment of the spirit Shakespeare’s Puck brought to life centuries ago, the show dazzles as each performer’s talents, skills, and friendly stage presence create an enchanting performance.

No laws of artistic tradition are set in stone; not even the rule of gravity. Performers dance in the air, quite literally, raising the stakes of wonder and entertainment for their audiences. Under the big top, the circus’s talented performers shock audiences with hair-hanging acrobats, human-sized balloons, dancing gymnastics and much more.

Credit: Michael Lynch

Daisy Minto, Revel Puck Circus’ marketing manager delved into the circus’s artistic mission, creative process, and commitment to community engagement.

With the team’s fresh approach to circus artistry, Daisy explained, “We strive to educate our audiences on modern circuses and what we are. We want people to feel confident and trust in what we do.”

Daisy explained that “challenges lead to positive outcomes” in the team’s artistic vision and performances. Their ever-evolving performances will always embrace these challenges.

Each show will be “a performance you can’t believe until you see it. Every five minutes, there’s truly something you haven’t seen before. All the artists have a very specific relationship to their disciplines. They are always inventing and coming up with new ways to perform.”

Moving forwards, Revel Puck strives to gain a permanent location for their tent and are encouraging the public to speak to the council to encourage space for the formation of Revel Puck Circus’s permanent home.

You can catch Revel Puck Circus: Ruckus at Fellowship Square until 1st January. Book a ticket here