Review: Pirates of the Carabina’s- ‘Flown’, St David’s Hall.

Pic credit: Gareth Griffiths

Beautiful chaos; two adjectives that are rarely, if not ever merged together in the same phrase to connote something positive. In spite of the oxymoron, the chaotic elegance of the Pirate of the Carabina’s ‘Flown’ truly represented the chaotic splendour of circus. With personal anecdotes, tense, harmonic vocals and story-telling tight rope walkers, ‘Flown’ can merely be described as a celebration of the surreal yet wonderful world of circus.

Whilst being winners of the Total Theatre Awards for ‘Physical and Visual Theatre’ in the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe, it cannot be denied that the Pirates of the Carabina’s ten international Circus Artists, Riggers and Musicians were outstanding and created several jaw dropping, unforgettable moments, from plummeting mid- air to making extreme acrobatics look easy. With careful direction and supervision of director, James Williams, the Pirates of the Carabina’s dedication and utmost talent was truly reflected through their performance of ‘Flown’.

When considering typical circus, skills and tricks such as acrobatics, clowns and fire-eating, ‘Flown’ rejoices the unconventional forms of typical circus entertainment. Peculiar props such as ironing boards, irons and lamp shades were utilised in such an elegant way that presented how even the most simple house hold items can captivate the audience in a split second. Whilst dancing around a lamp does not on initial reflection sound ‘mesmerising’, the intrigue and talent embedded into the performance allowed the audience to see regular objects as being used for multi- purposes rather than what we typically use a lamp for, again celebrating the unconventional.

Other than successfully making me feel rather inadequate about my own musical ability, the band accompanying the performance created an atmospheric and tense setting for the performance to unravel. Credit must be given to the female lead vocalist whose mellow, folk-like voice allowed the audience to be captivated through the performance due to the creative live soundscape which was harmonically complimented by the choir.

Director James Williams successfully collaborated elements of physical theatre, dance, acrobatics and the weird (meaning a small toy horse carrying a fully grown man on a carriage across the stage) into a mesmerising and unique performance which led to the deserved standing ovation at the overwhelming climax of the show.

With only three performances of ‘Flown’ remaining in Cardiff, this jaw-dropping, mesmerising performance is indefinitely not one to be missed.

Pic credit: Gareth Griffiths
Pic credit: Gareth Griffiths.

Flown runs from 27 May – 30 May 2015 at St Davids Hall, Cardiff.


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