Last Updated on September 24, 2021
Contemporary circus company – Lost in Translation reopen Jacksons Lane
Jacksons Lane Arts Centre is a flagship arts and cultural venue in Highgate, Haringey renowned for creating an amazing programme of contemporary circus shows, participatory community events and outreach programmes. Jacksons Lane has been closed since November 2020 for a transformative 4.5 million redevelopment, it is now reaching the final stages and is due to fully open on 30th October. However, after 18 months in the dark and with scaffolding still in place, we were shown around to the side of the building to enter the theatre for the world premiere of circus cabaret. Luminosa directed by Massimiliano Rossetti and Adrian Berry is presented by Jacksons Lane and Lost in Translation.
I was really looking forward to seeing Lost in Translation’s latest production, as I caught their last show Hotel Paradiso at the Underbelly Festival during the summer. It which was a total joy… they are genuinely one of the most inventive, entertaining touring circus ensembles in the UK.
The show is hosted with great panache by Peter Reynolds who has not only written the music but also performs it all live, and acts as a charismatic ringmaster for the show. The original music plays a hugely important role, setting the scene act by act. Played on the keyboard, accordion and saxophone it creates a vivid, haunting and at times quite funny accompaniment to the show.
Luminosa opens on a darkly lit stage in which the cast enter in candlelight creating beautiful canescent light. That leads to the full cast of ten performers dressed in boilersuits performing a sizzling dance routine choreographed by Michelle Man, which gives a taste of what’s to come. It’s followed by an amusing scene where one by one they strip from their boilersuits, almost naked, before being sent off stage.
The show creates an electric mix of cabaret and circus which takes you on a rollercoaster of a journey with a series of jaw-dropping, breathtaking moments and mesmerising bodily feats of wonder. The company perform various amazing balancing acts, magnificent hoop work, juggling extraordinaire, fabulous pole, rope and trapeze acts, all of which are mastered with boundless energy and innate skill, each artist bringing their own personality, daring and expertise.
But what gives Luminosa the added charm is the infectious fun, humour and insight that runs throughout, and an infinite sense of camaraderie and trust between the company. They seemed to be having such a great time and in turn, it spread to the audience who lapped it and had them willing the artists to succeed in each and every death-defying act.
The final scene had six of the artists precariously lifting, jumping, rolling, balancing and creating human skipping ropes, which was pure joy.
Luminosa is the perfect feel-good show to reopen Jacksons Lane. Brimming with fun, it’s just what we need right now.
Runs until 29 September 2021
Jacksons Lane Arts Centre
269A Archway Rd,
Phone: 020 8340 5226