Human Circus Sparks the Interest of Forum Crowds.
By Nigel Thorpe
Peacock plumes of sparks flew in the Jerash Forum on Tuesday evening as a damsel in distress fought of the unwanted advances of a red and green human duo. Cascading from the body of an electric drill, the sparks flew high into the night sky to shower down on her colorful villainous assailants..
The program had begun in a more sane fashion with the slow melodic airs and fiery scampering beats of Irish music. The folk group “Jig Off”, fresh from their appearances early in the week along the Colonnade, delighted their largely Arab audience with a highly professional and varied program.
Sanity, however, slipped silently out between the forum’s pillars when the Amazing Mr. Smith strode onto the stage. Long haired, and propeller -nosed, the eccentric guitarist wielded “ wired “ polythene bottles and tin cans full of stones in front of the microphone. The bizarre cacophony of sound was surprisingly musical, but a disappointed Mr. Smith confided to Albawaba after the show that a malfunctioning CD player had sabotaged his act. The same technical difficulty bugged the red man and green man when they leapt on stage to the rescue of the retreating guitarist. Flashing brightly like a traffic light “on the blink” the crazy pair performed a collage of musical mime to the opening seismic chords of “Thus spake Zarathrustra”, the Wagnerian granduer of “ The Flight of the Valkries “ and the soaring operatic choruses of Padovesky.
One minute the bizarre duo were sparring like a pair of American prize-fighters, the next the red man rode piggy-backed on his green human “horse” to a booming background of racecourse noises.
In a final operatic spoof, a six-meter tall, fan waving, warbling soprano made a drammatic entrance on a pair of giant stilts to remonstrate, in an operatic fashion, with the bewildered duo.
Keith Wyncoll, the show’s director, has brought his highly entertaining acts to the Jerash Festival many times before. This year’s Five Star Circus lineup was recruited from the world famous Circus Space in Longon and includes artists from Barcelona, Spain, and Italy.
It would be interesting to know whether the Romans would have allowed such antics in their grand Forum. Fortunately for Mr. Smith, the Five Star Circus, and their delighted audience, the Forum’s Roman guards returned to Rome, many, many years ago.
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)