Cirkopolis at the Millennium Centre: fast, funny, sexy and unmissable

Cirque Éloize’s Cirkopolis turns greyscale to technicolour in a heartpounding performance that traverses circus, dance, comedy and theatre. 

With echoes of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and 1984, even flashes of The Hudsucker Proxy, the show portrays a drab, grey world punctuated with joy and colour. Mechanical movements and tightly-performed dance routines make way for fluid, effortless acrobatics within a few minutes and it doesn’t lose pace for the entire 90 minutes. 

From an electro-swing Andrews Sisters-style juggling routine, to the solitary, mesmerising cyr wheel, the first half is incredible. It also includes the sexiest German wheel performance that you’ll ever see (I guarantee).

Photo credit: Cirque Eloize

If it’s even possible, the second half is better. It begins with a perfect tandem trapeze routine (I’ve been learning trapeze for half a year, and I don’t think audiences really appreciate just how hard it is to make it look so easy!). 

The Chinese pole performance was easily the best of the night- the twirling, fast-paced climbs and HUGE drops harvested so many gasps from the audience that I’m surprised there weren’t a few asthma attacks. The three primary performers didn’t make one wrong move, and did it all in time to banging music. This scene is worth the ticket price alone. 

The finishing routine, complete with seesawing, flying acrobats is fast, perilous and fun, just like the rest of the show. None of it wears thin, and the whole thing passed in an instant because of its unfaltering magnetism.

The CGI scenery gives the set a depth that I’ve never seen on stage before – from rising skyscrapers during the handstand tower to the twisting door panels in the comedy interlude.

There is little to complain about- the performance was essentially flawless but for a few imperceptible hiccups, and the music is hit and miss. 

Don’t miss your chance to see the show, which is on at the WMC until Saturday. You’ll never look at office furniture the same again…

Grangetown’s historic ‘tramsheds’ – an inside look

You may have all heard the news about the old tramsheds in Grangetown, and the plans to turn them into a cultural/arts centre, with apartments, art space, and a venue. Exciting, no? Photographer Peppe Iovino went along to grab a look inside the building as it is now. Chapter may finally have competition for all the hip west side Cardiffians, looking for new arty spaces to sup coffee and park their baby buggies …

The plan is to turn the old depot into a new development including: a gallery; 40-seat cinema; 1,000-capacity performance venue/community space with sound-proofing; safe-bar, possibly with micro brewery, with its own courtyard area, acting as entrance at Clare Road end of the building; spaces which can be used as a dance studio, workshops, rehearsals – one larger and one smaller etc; and a local shop.

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Peppe enjoyed going to have a look around the site in its current state. He says: “The opening was a very interesting event. I spent some time speaking with the project manager, and it was so nice to see what could happen to an abandoned building in ruin. It’s a great space, and I enjoyed seeing what could turn into an art hub, with meeting spaces for the community. It was also great seeing so many citizens just passing through, coming in and taking an interest in this transformation.”

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You can see detailed plans about the development on Wales Online: Plans unveiled to turn old Cardiff tramshed into urban arts centre, creating 300 new jobs. have posted a lot of interesting information about the development, including this great old story from the Rev BOB JONES, now of Newport Pemb, writing of his childhood memories of Grangetown and particularly the trams.

“My grandparents lived in Warwick Place and traded as Wm Aplin and Sons Coal Merchants. There were two sons Bill, who looked after the coal side, and Fred, who was a furniture remover. His pride and joy was his van whivh he bought new in 1938, it was a Ford – was it BUH 318 ? I really do forget.The body was fitted by William Lewis of Tudor Lane. My cousin Stan was also the grandson of Squires the Bakers in Clare Rd. He was older than me but we shared the same interest in transport. Often we would watch the Foden and Sentinal Steam lorries which brought the flour to the bakery in Clare Rd and watch as Stan’s father lifted the bags, using a block and tackle into the loft, over the bakehouse. At this time the building on the other side of the lane was a flourishing synagogue.”

To read more of that, visit  or , a great local information resource.

The photos above show the Clare Road and Ninian Park Road (Eldon Road) junction, with tram, in 1939, and also right one of horse-drawn trams which ran from Clive Street to Splott, and right a tram at the old depot entrance. All photos taken from .

Visit the Tramshed website


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