Cirque du Soleil meets Stomp in The Birdhouse Factory
I like the theatre, yes, but if I’m honest with you I’m often over it about 60 minutes in – my backside starts to hurt and I psychosomatically need the loo.
Not in The Birdhouse Factory though: I loved every 90-or-so minutes.
With the wonder of Cirque du Soleil and the grassroots chic of Stomp, this is circus without the tack. The clown isn’t creepy thanks to a lack of face paint and giant shoes: he is instead a loveable and somewhat triumphant character; the acrobats avoid lycra and wear grungy overalls; and there’s no animal cruelty – always a plus.
Charlie Chaplin-esque, there isn’t an audible word uttered throughout the production. There’s less focus on the plot, and more focus on the magic, and that’s fine by me. The bag of tricks include acrobats flailing around on giant hanging lamps; a Mongolian contortionist whose limbs seemed formed from Plasticine; a sassy hula hoop lady; and a juggler who tackles five giant balls, an umbrella, a hat and a suitcase: pure unadulterated joy.
The first act is full of honest, body-defying gymnasts, and the second focuses more on machinery: the grand finale sees three men doing some nerve-wracking trampolining.
I don’t want to go into too much detail about the tricks and spoil the magic, but let’s just say that I was seated near a 7-year-old and a 60-year-old, and both of them clapped and chuckled throughout the show, their eyes lit up in equal measure. The Birdhouse Factory continues until May 29 (show times is 8pm, and on weekends there are matinees at 3.30pm). Tickets are Dhs150 for evening shows and Dhs125 for matinees. Visit www.timeouttickets.com to book.