Amongst the festive madness this season, take a long lunch break at Chapel off Chapel with Performance Management​ by ​Shhhhh Productions.

We enter the space and are immediately struck by the creative use of the Loft at Chapel  with more levels and division of performance space than I’ve seen in this theatre. Nods to traditional circus abound accompanied by a hefty projection screen and stunning lighting and sound design to establish mood. In combination with hints of props and set from an office space, we knew we were in for a crossover experience.

The opening display of circus folk revealed a cast of 5 ensemble performers, before the Ringmaster, Scott Hollingsworth, appeared. With a lion to be tamed, a snake to be charmed, hoops, silks, balances and a strong (and beautiful) man – we were primed and ready to be entertained.

Some of the highlights were the ​9 to 5​ singalong party with the audience, the ​Avenue Q​ montage, and the transformative character work in ​Another Hundred People.

Many of the setups and punchlines needed a little more work. At times, the delivery felt forced and there needed to be a more flexibility from the Ringmaster to work with the live Cabaret audience with confidence.

With a few more runs on the board and a little more gravitas, the – often clever and relevant – comparisons of an office to a circus might land more fully on the willing audience who, particularly at this time of year, are ready for a good laugh.

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Written by Jessica Papst