LIMBO at the Southbank

Heather Holliday

Doesn’t just the word LIMBO conjure up the best images – graceful dancers, glistening, elegant bodies gyrating on sultry evenings in lush gardens or on endless white beaches?

The Wonderland near the Southbank Center had a great show for a few precious weeks called Limbo, invented at the Garden of Unearthly delights in Adelaide in 2013, touring the world since then, and now for its second season in London to delight us again.

Limbo AcrobaticsThis really is a new sensory experience. Fabulous, incredibly gifted performers who can do stunning acrobatics, sing, and dance – brought together from all parts of the globe by Scott Maidmant. But it is their sense of fun and great individual personalities that impressed me most. To have fun while doing incredible fire-tricks and amazing acrobatics; that truly is special.

Cirque du Soleil is the benchmark here, and of course their mega-productions are much bigger, but this brings the stylish intimacy of the Spiegeltent. The lady fire-eater, Heather Holiday in her very cute, sexy outfit, and the areal hoop specialist, Evelyne Allard, who uses more a 1930's Domina style, attract with their personality as much as their talent. What an achievement. The New York City band leader, Sxip Shirey, calls the music 'Yank', meaning surprising, funky, always sexy and out of kilter. New Orleans saying hello to 1930 Berlin and arriving in contemporary London makes for a super mix.

Heather HollidayThe instruments have to be seen to be believed and Grant Arthur plays them all, from huge tuba to steel guitar. For good looks and charm, a Frenchman was found Mikael Bres (or maybe he was chosen for his eight languages and his sensual, flirty singing style as well as his astounding acrobatics). It’s really hard to overstate the skills these performers have. Jonathan Nosan, the inspired contortionist, adds solemn moments to this whirlwind show, and after an hour’s show we left exhausted by all the stuff going on, bewitched, bothered, and bewildered, all in a good way, of course.

Limbo is a show we had never seen before, and it was a joy to behold!