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Photo: Duane Steel

Fringe Review: Heirloom Toys Circus

By Colin Noden on June 16, 2018

Heirloom Toys Circus
by Deflying Feets

50 min / Circus, Family, Comedy / G

It’s not a good sign when you’re worried for the performer during a stunt. Real worry, not the “Oh, that looks so hard. How on earth can anyone do that?” worry.

I think this new work by Deflying Feets had some first night jitters. A big theatre, only about 30% filled didn’t help. Only a few children. And a 6pm, post-work, pre-bar lack of responsiveness. That said, it ended with smiles all around, helped by finishing with what seems to be their strong point: aerials. Their confidence showed and we were finally drawn in.

These actors/acrobats are such likable people with warm personalities. I found myself wanting them to succeed. But concern and worry get in the way of enjoyment. Repeated attempts at a failed acrobatic maneuver could have been ad-libbed into the storyline. Using a “Look how hard this is! Can we ever do it?” approach.

But the storyline was not obvious enough to carry us through any missteps. This also put a distance between us. It was more like charades than mime. They need a choreographer and a clown. The choreographer to build the story and move some of the confident acts to the beginning. The clown to add cohesion and cue audience applause.

The fact that my mind became preoccupied with these thoughts shows the weakness of the performance as a play. I truly hope the following performances are strengthened and tightened. Because, as I said, they seem to be such nice people.


Heirloom Toys Circus is playing at La Nouvelle Scène Studio A (333 King Edward Ave) until Sunday June 24, 2018. Tickets cost $12. Visit ottawafringe.com for the schedule and box office info. Read more reviews at apt613.ca/fringe.