Ewen Coleman - Dominion Post
REVIEW: Leo, created by Circle of Eleven's Tobias Wegner, and directed by Daniel Briere
Downstage Theatre, till March 18
Reviewed by Ewen Coleman
The setting for German theatre company Circle of Eleven's Leo is a room with a red wall and blue floor, which solo performer Tobias Wegner appears trapped in with no way of escape no matter what type of extraordinary acrobatic-type feats he attempts.
But that is only part of the show. On the other side of the stage is a huge screen onto which is projected an image of Wegner's room. The only difference being it has been rotated clockwise through 90 degrees so the red wall becomes the floor and the blue floor becomes the wall.
As a consequence, when Wegner lies on the floor, on the screen he is seen to be standing up leaning against the wall.
Based on an idea by Wegner, which he developed under the direction of Daniel Briere, it is one of the most creative and original productions at this year's festival.
To go into detail would spoil much of the show's enjoyment; suffice to say Wegner is an incredible performer who tirelessly moves from one contortion to another without missing a beat.
And it is not just his physical actions but a gambit of emotions - confusion, frustration, desperation and finally relief - that adds substance to his performance.
Just when one piece appears to be getting repetitive, the show moves direction, although the ending does appear to over- extend itself. And the uniqueness of the production is seeing Wegner's actions in the room translated onto the screen, often hilariously and seeming to defy gravity.
To assist him he has a suitcase of props and musical accompaniment which provide some of the show's highlights: dancing up the wall to Frank Sinatra's I've Got the World on a String; swimming through an ocean of sea life to Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake; and a piece of chalk creates a magical world for his awe-inspiring finale.
He finally makes his way out of the room as uniquely as he moves through the show, making this a great piece of innovative entertainment.