Circa Tsuica bring Now or Never to Salford this week pitching their big top on the Plaza outside the Lowry and from the moment you walk into the tent it is clear you are part of the show from the very start.

A warm welcome and an invitation to help yourself to freshly made pancakes, drinks and nibbles is extended to all before you take your seats. During this unique welcome the cast mingle with the audience playing their instruments throughout.

Bicycles are used throughout the evening as the hugely talented cast ride them around the ring forward and at times backwards, each sequence sees a different combination of performers balancing upon them. I have never seen ten people on two bicycles before tonight and after seeing it with my own eyes, still can’t quite believe it is possible.

The audience inclusion continues once the show begins with various members of the audience being invited into the ring to participate with some of the sequences, with some being more willing than others.

Circa Tsuica’s unique blend of circus and the often hypnotic beat of Balkan Jazz proves a hit for the packed big top. It wasn’t just bicycles used this evening, there is some breathe taking trapeze work, general clowning and the impressive cyr wheel.

At each town the circus visits, they invite local young musicians to join them performing in the show. Here in Salford they’re from MAPAS Arts Centre and come from all over Salford. You really wouldn’t know that tonight was their first performance as they were faultless.

The finale of the evening involved the teeterboard, a circus favourite. To make this part of the show even more inclusive the audience are invited to sit on picnic rugs on the floor of the ring to get a close up view of the cast flying through the air twisting and turning before landing perfectly on the crash mat.

As the cast took their bows the audience were once again invited to join them in the centre of the ring as the drinks and nibbles were brought back.

With the constant Balkan Jazz soundtrack, audience inclusion, stunning acrobatics and circus skills Circa Tsuica is the perfect night out for all the family.

Circa Tsuica continues at The Lowry until Saturday night.

Reviewer: Paul Downham

Reviewed: 30th August 2018

North West End Rating: ★★★★