Sirqus Alfon is a high-octane ride, electro clown ride through a bizarro post-internet world of pop culture, music, light and video.
The Swedish troupe, comprised of archetypes in their leader Babham, romancer Emilio and wild-card Ejve, are all decked out in pastel, Sgt Pepper-style suits with personalities to match.
Forget any semblance of a story or narrative, I Am Somebody is a series of audience-interactive tricks, rollicking musical numbers, innovative effects and wickedly funny sight gags designed to pummel the crowd into a moist pool of chuckles and whimsy. And it works. It’s sort of like stepping into a living, breathing meme factory.
Relying heavily on our knowledge of 8-bit, auto-tuned, millennial pop culture (a point that might let down audience members who never owned a Super Nintendo), Sirqus Alfon winks and nudges the audience onto the ride to begin with. Quickly though, the accelerator is slammed to the floor as the trio whip the audience into a nostalgia-fuelled frenzy.
Complementing some strong clowning, music and dance from the trio are an array of technological tricks using lights, cameras and projections that draw the audience into the performance in genuinely unexpected ways. The goal seems to be to affectionately satirise the world of circus and performance while celebrating the selfie-generation’s reported narcissism, rather than complaining about ‘kids these days’. What’s more, social media souvenirs are available online after the performance, and mid-show Instagramming is encouraged.
Many of the musical numbers’ lyrics are sadly lost under the torrent of noise, though, perhaps due to a potentially poor sound mix or the troupe’s heightened accents. The show is also so large that it might outsize the Ukiyo tent it’s performed in, and could surely do wonders in a larger space. Regardless, I Am Somebody is a vivid and youthful trip well worth the price of admission for pop-culture junkies.
Sirqus Alfon: I Am Somebody was performed at the Ukiyo tent at Royal Croquet Club and continues until March 19