Acrobatics on a boat? In London? Er, ok, sounds crazy enough for me. So I dragged my friend, Elaine, along to the opening night of Midnight Circus Aboard MS Stubnitz.
Walking down to the MS Stubnitz is a surreal experience in itself. For a start, MS Stubnitz is currently based in Canary Wharf which doesn’t really make sense as everyone knows bankers are terrified of anything out the ordinary. Seeing such a characterful, impressive boat rising out of the fog, surrounded by modern buildings with an eerie quiet all around, did make us wonder exactly what we had gotten ourselves into.
Walking to the queue, Elaine and I raised eyebrows at each other as we thought, at first glance, that the dress code was fancy dress. But it was ok, it was just some of the East London crowd.
The interior of the boat is dark and murky and has a faint steam-punk, post-apocalypse air about it. There’s a lot more to the boat than we saw at the Midnight Circus so make sure you explore. However, when we get there, there’s a hold in the floor and exciting look ropes dangling off it. Before the show starts, there’s a bar to top up on drinks and when it’s time, the ringmaster will allow you downstairs to take up your position.
Be warned, there aren’t any seats so take comfy shoes, as few bags as possible and if you’re equipped with little legs, get to the front of the ‘stage’.
The theme of the Midnight Circus is part Waterworld, part bondage and part fantasy. With a portion of drowned sailor and seductive sirens thrown in. Whilst minimal, the outfits are great and there’s little left to the imagination. And strangely, I found the women a lot more attractive than the men. Sorry boys.
I must admit, I was slightly disappointed by the first half – there were more wobbles than wild thrills and a slightly hairy moment at the start when one of the girls crashed straight into a pillar on her descent to the stage.
However, I could forgive this as the second half was excellent. I had mixed feelings on the idea of a circus on the MS Sputnitz (I still think it’s held there for the sake of being different, rather than because it was best for the medium) but there was better use of the space with some properly jaw-dropping feats of strength and agility. It’s safe to say the women stole the show and wowed everyone with their skills.
When the show ends, make sure you stay for a drink and more of an exploration. There is so much more to MS Stubnitz than you initially get to see. And if you can, try and get yourself a guided tour and go on a romp around. More about the MS Stubnitz here >
Midnight Circus, directed by Lucy Francis and Alex Frith, is a show put together by the guys behind Air Craft Circus, a circus training facility based in South East London. They have a wide variety of courses, including 2 hour tasters for the Chinese Pole, Flying Trapeze, Silks and Static Trapeze. And yes, I’ve been inspired to book. Does anyone else want to come along with me?
How much? £20 if you book online. £25 on the door.
Why go there? For something unique and different.
Top Tip: Good thing is there’s no best position to be standing, just as long as you’re at the front. Get to the front of wherever you are.
Where is it? In the water – Canary Wharf, Montgomery Street, Wood Wharf, E14 9SB
When can I see it? Friday 8th March 8pm, Saturday 9th March 8PM, Sunday 10th March 8PM, Thursday 14th March 8PM, Friday 15th March 8PM, Saturday 16th March 8PM; and one Matinee performance on Sunday 17th March at 2.30PM.
Telephone: 020 8317 8401