Referencing classic 80s teen coming of age films, Filament’s eight performers are neatly stereotyped into characters like the bimbo, the new guy trying to fit in and the nerdy girl who desperately wishes he would notice her.
Their interactions tie the show together in the absence of an MC, and over 75 minutes these characters grow as they find (or lose) love and decide who they want to be. There’s great chemistry onstage and the best of these scenes are genuinely touching, expressing universal desires and fears despite the absence of dialogue.
Much like the selfie-obsessed characters, the soundtrack has been updated and helps to tie these scenes together. The narrative element is slim, and it’s worked tenuously into performances on the silks and Chinese pole. When the two aspects of Filament come together more fully, however, the results are captivating and highlights include a slapstick contortionist routine and a hula hoop segment filled with righteous indignation.
Not everything is quite so slick, and some of the interstitial acts are clumsy and drag out unnecessarily. Despite this, Filament is family-friendly fun that provides a welcome change from the formula adhered to by many other circus shows.
Filament was performed at the Panama Club at the Royal Croquet Club on Saturday, February 18 and continues until Sunday, March 19