The Elephant in the Room

An artist is thrown across the stage in front of a set from the 1930s and she appears lie in the air.
Two artists stand on a decorated stage. The gentleman smokes a cigar and speaks while the butler looks at him in fear.
A smoking artist and the torso of a mannequin are lying on a sofa. An artist does a one-armed handstand on the mannequin's neck.
Two artists do a one-armed handstand next to each other on an old-decorated stage. In doing so, they hook each other's feet.
An artist carries a butler in his arms. The butler hugs his porter sadly.
One artist throws another into the air, where he does a somersault. A gentleman is watching them farther to the left.
Two butlers stand next to each other laughing. One is holding a cleaning cloth, the other is holding a glass bottle of whiskey.

Deliciously retro and absolutely original, Cirque Le Roux delves into a smoky monochrome world of circus arts, Hollywood film noir and physical theatre

Welcome to the luxurious estate of Miss Betty. Caught between her desperate husband, a cheerful best-man, two fumbling butlers and a lustful admirer, our hostess slips away from her wedding reception into a secluded smoking lounge. Cigars, whisky, slapstick and remarkable acrobatics culminate into a turbulent amorous intrigue. Hidden amongst the darkly decadent ambiance, past the quarrels and false pretenses, is an elephant in the room that’s taking up more and more space…

Cirque Le Roux serves up a dose of wit and eccentricity, seamlessly blending storytelling with high-level acrobatics. The six artists perfect perilous circus numbers and explore the mysteries of love, friendship and the obvious truths we choose to ignore.

Duration: 90 minutes plus intermission
Age recommendation: 8+

Language: The show contains scenes using spoken language, with the performers speaking a mixture of German and English. The plot is easy to understand even without language skills and is told with words as well as acrobatics and physical humor. There will be live translations into German sign language for the performances on April 8th and May 20th.

Artistic Direction: Cirque Le Roux
Staging by: Charlotte Saliou
Authors: Lolita Costet, Charlotte Saliou, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas
Interpreters: Naël Jammal, Craig Gadd, Lina Romero, Jack McGarr, Antonio Terrones, Kritonas Anastasopoulos, Lolita Costet, Charlotte Saliou, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg, Yannick Thomas
Original Music: Alexandra Stréliski
Costume Creation: Cirque Le Roux & Clarisse Baudinière
Lighting Design: Cirque Le Roux
Sound Design: Cirque Le Roux
Set Design: Cirque Le Roux
Hero Image and Portraits: Olivier Gachen
Photos: Jean Penninck, Eva Trifft, Francesca Torracchi

About the Company

Founded in 2014, Cirque Le Roux is a French circus company based in Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France. Imbued with a cinematic, meticulously detailed aesthetic, its high-voltage performances are rich in tragicomic, dreamlike atmospheres.

Cirque Le Roux attempts to create captivating, original worlds that are suffused with personal significance and pull from a wide variety of artistic influences. They base their research on the diversity and variety of the human condition. The artist’s rigorous circus training allows them to push physical boundaries and use their acrobatic disciplines as a motor to further a narrative dramaturgy. Their works come to life in touching theatrical gems, evoking emotion and questioning our connection and trust in ourselves and others. In 2015 the four co-founders (Lolita Costet, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas) created The Elephant in the Room, an exhilarating and deliciously retro circus comedy that over the past four years has been presented more than 400 times all over the world.

In 2015 the show played to sold-out houses at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, where it was nominated for a Total Theatre Award. Some 50,000 spectators attended the performances at Bobino Paris, and the company received the Étoile du Parisien award in 2017.

The originality and virtuosity of the piece led to invitations to popular television shows such as the Plus Grand Cabaret du Monde, Quotidien with Yann Barthès, the Molières awards ceremony at Folies Bergères and Michel Drucker’s Vivement Dimanche. The cinematic nature of “The Elephant in the Room” also led to broadcasts of the piece on national networks like TV5 Monde, Canal +, and several international broadcasts.

In 2019 Cirque Le Roux took up the challenge of creating a new work, another extraordinary “cinema-circus”, continuing its pursuit of artistic excellence at all levels (acting, acrobatic technique, combinations of disciplines, set design, costumes, etc.) in a show that can be viewed as a follow-up to the first piece, yet set some 35 years later.

Cast

    Lina Romero

    as Betty Barick

    Lina Romero
    as Betty Barick

    Circus Disciplines: Hand to Hand, Chinese Pole

    Lina was born in Colombia and studied in Mexico City from 2004 to 2012 at the Academia de la Danza Mexicana and from 2013 to 2014 at the Cirko de Mente. In 2015, she moved to Montreal and studied at the renowned National Circus School, where she graduated in 2019, specializing in hand to hand and dance trapeze. In 2019, Lina was part of a workshop with The 7 Fingers and trained with the Cirque du Soleil. Lina has been on stage since 2004 and has participated in numerous productions ever since. In 2006, thanks to a collaboration with the National Dance Company, she performed in the Nutcracker Ballet in the National Auditorium and other ballet productions. In July 2018, Lina performed with Jack McGarr in a hand-to-hand duo performance on La Rue Montréal Complètement Cirque.

    Jack McGarr

    as John Barick

    Jack McGarr
    as John Barick

    Circus Disciplines: Hand to Hand, Chinese Pole

    Jack was born in Canada and has been studying at the National Circus School in Montreal since 2014. In addition to his appearances in circus pieces, Jack competed in various acrobatics competitions. Highlights include the National Canadian Championships from 2010 to 2014 and the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Age Group Championships 2010 in Poland, 2012 in the USA and 2014 in France. In 2017 Jack could be seen in Le Moulin à Vent and in 2018 he was part of a celebrated hand-to-hand performance with Lina Romero at La Rue Montréal Complètement Cirque. Jack has been part of the cast for productions like Blizzard by Flip Fabrique and Brume by The 7 Fingers. When he is not working to perfect his circus skills, Jack plays guitar, bass and drums and is a certified gymnastics trainer.

    Craig Gadd

    as Mr. Chance

    Craig Gadd
    as Mr. Chance

    Circus Disciplines: Handstands, Chinese Pole

    Craig comes from a small town in Hampshire, England. He trained at the National Centre for Circus Arts in London (2012-2015), specializing in hand balancing. Prior to this he competed as a Sports Acro base before going solo to develop his own training. This is where he found his love for learning new things and pushing himself to the next level. Craig now performs in a variety of styles and disciplines, from stage shows and immersive ensemble work to solo and duo acts. Sharing the stage and his love for circus with his colleagues and the audience is one of his greatest joys. Connecting with others and bringing them into his own world is something he views as a special privilege.

    Antonio Terrones y Hernandez

    as Tony

    Antonio Terrones y Hernandez
    as Tony

    Circus Disciplines: Hand to Hand, Teeterboard, Chinese Pole

    In addition to his bachelor’s degree in circus arts, Antonio also has degrees in carpentry and woodworking. On stage, Antonio already was on a North American tour with Cirque du Soleil with the piece Amaluna and inspired the audience on the Teeterboard. Until 2018 he was also part of the French company XY, which he joined in 2016 for the show Il n’est pas encore minuit. Between 2006 and 2019, Antonio worked as a circus teacher for various acrobatic disciplines at Circus Zonder Handen. With the Trio Acrobarouf, which formed in 2008 at the Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque, he performed at various circus festivals, in variety theaters and at the Cirque du Soleil until 2016.

    Kritonas Anastasopoulos

    as Petit Bouchon

    Kritonas Anastasopoulos
    as Petit Bouchon

    Circus Disciplines: Hand to Hand, Teeterboard, Chinese Pole

    Kritonas began his performance career at the age of 12, working alongside his father and performing in children’s shows in Greece. He graduated from ESAC in Brussels in 2010, specialising in teeterboard, banquine and hand to hand. In 2007, he became a founding member of the Belgian teeterboard company Acrobarouf, which toured all around the globe. Highlights of the company’s career includes being part of the Cirque du Soleil production Amaluna from 2011 to 2014 and winning the Bronze Medal at the International Young Stage Festival in Basel in 2015. Kritonas joined the French company XY for their show Il n’est pas encore minuit and created the acrobatic solo performance (Telos) in collaboration with Unités/Nomade and Cie ODOS in Brussels. Alongside his dedication to performance, Kritonas has a passion for sharing his expertise, providing the next generation in the world of professional performers with valuable skills.

    Naël Jammal

    as Jeune Bouchon

    Naël Jammal
    as Jeune Bouchon

    Circus Disciplines: Handstands, Chinese Pole

    Naël started circus at the age of 11. First, he trained at l’Ecole Nationale de Cirque de Châtellerault from 2001 and later joined the world renowned National Circus School of Montreal, where he graduated in 2008. Soon thereafter, he was noticed by The 7 fingers and went on to travel the world with them for 5 years in productions like “Traces”, “La Vie” and “PSY”. In 2012, he established his own Theatre/Circus company called Cie Tête d’Enfant. Their first creation “Me, Myself and Us” has toured worldwide, tour stops including France at the Festival d’Avignon, Belgium, Germany, Cambodia and the Philippines. His outstanding performances made him into a finalist of the TV show “Arab’s got Talent” and in 2014, led him to join the award-winning Broadway musical Pippin. In 2016, Naël performed at the GOP Varieté-Theater in Germany before he was part of Les productions Haut-Vol with the show “Origins” in 2017. In 2018, Naël performed as the main character in Cirque du Soleil at Sea’s “Viaggio”, which he was also the artistic director for.

    Lolita Costet

    as Betty Barrick

    Lolita Costet
    as Betty Barrick

    Lolita began circus at 7 years old at l’Ecole de Cirque in Aveyron quickly followed by l’Ecole de Cirque de Châtellerault.  She attended the Ecole Supérieure des Arts du Cirque de Bruxelles to complete her circus studies.  Soon after graduating, with her partner Lennert Vandenbroeck she created the show Seul avec Vous.  Their duo, going by the name Duo Léo performed with Circus Monti and numerous German Varieties. In 2012, she took part in the creation and production of the original cast of Diane Paulus’ Tony Award winning revival of PIPPIN at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. Since 2014, Lolita co-founded the company Cirque Le Roux, a French circus company based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France. In 2015 the four co-founders (Lolita Costet, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas) created The Elephant in the Room, an exhilarating and deliciously retro circus comedy that over the past four years has been presented more than 400 times all over the world.  In 2019 Cirque Le Roux took up the challenge of creating its newest show, A Deer in the Headlights, another extraordinary “cinema circus”, continuing its pursuit of artistic excellence.

    Yannick Thomas

    as John Barrick

    Yannick Thomas
    as John Barrick

    Yannick Thomas was immersed into the world of circus since he was young.  He began at The Circus School of Capbreton, and quickly moved on to The Circus School of Châtellerault before completing his studies at The National Circus School of Montreal.  Here, he was able to fully exploit his acrobatic potential with teachers Alexandre Arnaoutov & Sébastien Soldévila.  With Greg Arsenal, he left the school with, Le Con est L’ange, a surprising number, acrobatic and theatrical, struggling between tenderness and cruelty.  In 2012, he took part in the creation and production of the original cast of Diane Paulus’ Tony Award winning revival of PIPPIN at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway.  Since 2014, Yannick co-founded the company Cirque Le Roux, a French circus company based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France. In 2015 the four co-founders (Lolita Costet, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas) created The Elephant in the Room, an exhilarating and deliciously retro circus comedy that has been presented more than 400 times all over the world.  In 2019 Cirque Le Roux took up the challenge of creating its newest show, A Deer in the Headlights, another extraordinary “cinema circus”, continuing its pursuit of artistic excellence.

    Philip Rosenberg

    as Mr. Chance

    Philip Rosenberg
    as Mr. Chance

    Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Philip Rosenberg, left a rigorous gymnastic regime to pursue his love for the performing arts at the age of 10. While attending several acting academies Philip also found the Circus Center, where he began learning Chinese Acrobatics under the guidance of Master Trainer Lu Yi. While learning how to be a powerful and dynamic acrobat, Philip also participated in various shows with the Circus Center and New Pickle Circus, including the original cast of Birdhouse Factory. This ever-expanding exhilarating world of performance and travel led Philip to the “National Circus School” of Montreal where he refined his technique in handbalancing, acrobatics, dance and theatre. Graduating in 2008, Philip immediately began performing with The 7 Fingers in a two year international tour of the show TRACES. The production played in over 15 different countries and dozens of theaters, including Union Square Theatre, Saddlers Wells in London, Casino de Paris, and The Sydney Opera House.   Soon after, Philip began performing his Mannequin Handstand act in various varieties throughout Germany.  In 2012, he took part in the creation and production of the original cast of Diane Paulus’ Tony Award winning revival of PIPPIN at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway. Since 2014, Philip co-founded the company Cirque Le Roux, a French circus company based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France. In 2015 the four co-founders (Lolita Costet, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas) created The Elephant in the Room, an exhilarating and deliciously retro circus comedy that over the past four years has been presented more than 400 times all over the world.  In 2019 Cirque Le Roux took up the challenge of creating its newest show, A Deer in the Headlights, another extraordinary “cinema circus”, continuing its pursuit of artistic excellence.

    Grégory Arsenal

    as Bouchon

    Grégory Arsenal
    as Bouchon

    At 14, Greg discovered the Circus school of Capbreton.  Soon after, he was guided towards a professional program, attending The Circus School of Bordeaux followed by The National Circus School of Montreal.  Specializing in Hand to Hand with his partner Yannick Thomas, they created Le Con est L’ange an acrobatic Hand to Hand number, which they have played over 400 times.  Having won two medals, Yann and Greg have performed with The 7 Fingers, GOP Variete, and Olympic Games in Vancouver.  In 2012, he took part in the creation and production of the original cast of Diane Paulus’ Tony Award winning revival of PIPPIN at the Music Box Theatre on Broadway.  Since 2014, Greg co-founded the company Cirque Le Roux, a French circus company based in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region of France. In 2015 the four co-founders (Lolita Costet, Grégory Arsenal, Philip Rosenberg and Yannick Thomas) created The Elephant in the Room, an exhilarating and deliciously retro circus comedy that has been presented more than 400 times all over the world.  In 2019 Cirque Le Roux took up the challenge of creating its newest show, A Deer in the Headlights, another extraordinary “cinema circus”, continuing its pursuit of artistic excellence.

In the Press

Der Tagesspiegel

Excellently performed, impressively staged

Ed Fest Mag

Beautifully written, and performed with vigour and fantastical showmanship

Circus Diaries

The most complete fusion of narrative theatre and top flight circus skills ever to grace our shores

Three Weeks

Sexy, tender and heartbreaking

Le Monde

Inventive and absolutely original

Le Figaro

Circus of the highest level