Boo, CirkVOST, Inside Out Dorset Festival, Poole Park

revu-BOOALL week, walkers, runners and locals driving past Poole Park watched the pick-a-stick construction of bamboo pieces of all sizes, from bendy striplings to massive trunks, as it was erected by the cricket ground. What on earth was going on? Finally on Friday night all was revealed – and it was truly spectacular, in every sense!

It’s about as far removed from a traditional “big top” as you can get – but CirkVOST’s massive bamboo structure has the same function. It provides a fantastic base from which a dozen aerial acrobats swing, plummet, dance, drop, vault, swing, somersault and balance in a 50 minute show that, quite literally, takes your breath away.

Indeed, one of my companions said she wasn’t even sure she had enjoyed it: “My heart was in my mouth so much of the time.”

The notes in the programme describe Boo as “an open air show which examines the human relationship within an impressive 15 metre high scene structure made of 368 bamboo sticks” – but that says very little about this startling  performance which had an audience of thousands enthralled.

I didn’t feel that there was a “story” – nor did there need to be. If this is about human relationships, it is about how much we need each other because the performers are, quite simply, totally mutually dependent … for their very lives.

Is it art? Hard to say – the structure is architecturally impressive, the music ranges from rock to opera, the movement is so beautiful at times it is balletic and the overall impact is memorable. So I’d say, yes, it is high art (and I’m only half punning).

CirkVOST is part of this year’s Inside Out Dorset festival – see elsewhere on this website for more information about the rest of the festival (all events are free) or visit the website and go along and be amazed and entertained.

We are eagerly looking forward to Periplum and The Bell in Blandford Market Place on Thursday 18th September and to the Ridgeway Responses programme along the South Dorset Ridgeway over the weekend 19th to 21st September.


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