The Elephant in the Room

Surreal circus explores unspoken desires and dreams through extreme, heightened physicality.
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Image: Cirque Le Roux in their first show The Elephant in the Room photograph courtesy Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival.


The Elephant in the Room is the first show from Cirque Le Roux, a new contemporary circus company from France, formed by four circus artists, Lolita Costet, Gregory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas, who all started out with the groundbreaking Montreal contemporary circus company, Sept Doigts de la Main,

This outstanding, visionary show, full of eroticism and masterful partnering uses the heightened physical language of circus to explore all that normally remains unspoken in relationships, venturing into the territory of physical frustration, erotic dreams and hidden desires. This show is fabulous – full of campy, vampy, outrageous humour and stunning hand-to-hand partnering of such mastery that it takes the performance into areas of physical attainment that few will ever explore.

Set in the sitting room of a 1930s house, the show draws on the genre of black and white film to follow what happens when a new bride comes back to her new husband’s home and meets his two close male friends. The work follows the shifting dynamics of attraction between these four characters.

As the interactions between the characters become more heightened, the physical language begins to venture into the realm of the surreal, and the set itself responds itself becoming surreal with the paintings changing inside their frames in response to the moods and thoughts of the characters, and with scores of ascending and descending lampshades responding to the events taking place on stage.

It is impossible to single out any of the performers as they are all outstanding, and the physical prowess and the trust that exists between all four of these extraordinary performers allows the language of circus to venture into new territory and claim this  physically heightened, surreal and erotic world as its own.

Astounding! – Do not miss this show!

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The Elephant in the Room

Cirque Le Roux in collaboration with Holt Renfrew
Direction: Charlotte Saliou
Outside Eye: Raymond Raymondson
Choreography, Tapdancing and Adagio: Brad Musgrove
Original Score: Alexandra Stréliski
Writers-Performers: Lolita Costet, Gregory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas
Costume Design : Philip Rosenberg and Gregory Arsenal
Costumes : Emily L. Ockenfels
Photos : Frank W. Ockenfels

Montréal Complètement Cirque Festival
8 July Théâtre Outremont


Katie Lavers
About the Author
Dr. Katie Lavers is a writer, director, producer and researcher based in Sydney.