Poetry and lust combine in circus show, The Goblin Market

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The Goblin Market | The Dust Palace | York Theatre, The Cultch | October 3 – 14, 2017

Poetry, fruit, and acrobatic feats: a seductive combination that made The Goblin Market by New Zealand circus troupe The Dust Palace a sensational show. Their unique blend of circus and theatre, with text from Christina Rosetti’s classic poem, Goblin Market, projected on the back wall of the stage, is bold and exciting.

The audience was engaged before the show even began as masked performers made their way through the theatre. The opening scene of two sisters (Rochelle Mangan and Eve Gordon) on a long, elevated wooden plank showcased their gymnastic style manoeuvers and established the importance of their strong sisterly bond for the narrative.

Rosetti’s poem, an erotic, pre-feminist tale, is empowering while being mysterious and enchanting. Lines such as “come buy, come buy our orchard fruit” and  “we must not look at goblin men; we must not buy their fruits” adorned the back wall as the acrobats incorporated succulent oranges into their acts.   

One of the highlights was the stunning aerial silks solo by Edward Clendon. His dexterity and control made it a flawless, breath-taking act. There were many other awe-inspiring moments, such as all three performers climbing up and balancing atop a tall stack of wooden chairs. The aerial hoops, double trapeze, and rope scenes were also beautifully theatrical while being technically advanced.

Along with the amazing circus feats, the narrative was bolstered by black and white video projections and a killer soundtrack that evokes just the right mood for each scene.   

The show culminated with a striking scene as one of the performers crushes an orange in her hand and juice runs down another’s face. The clear narrative of an unbreakable sisterly bond and feminist strength was well integrated with the circus acts to create an impressive and edgy circus-theatre fusion.   

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