Come September, audiences won’t have to travel any farther than The GRAND to take in vignettes from ancient Egypt or the French Renaissance.
The Time Machinist, put on by theatre company Jupiter Theatre and Calgary-based circus company Le Cirque de la Nuit, is a homage to H.G. Well’s The Time Machine.
Audiences are transported to a Victorian-esque steampunk setting akin to that of The Time Machine and are then taken through time itself through circus performances and theatre acting.
“We’ve taken the idea of time and time travel, and we’re exploring that through both circus and theatre,” said Jupiter Theatre’s Artistic Producer Andrew G. Cooper.
“It’s a thrilling circuit theatre experience for all ages that delves into the enigmatic wonders of the past and illuminates the limitless possibilities of the future.”
Among the circus performances on display, said Cooper, would be clowning, aerial acts, juggling, hoops, and fans.
“A very big spectacle show. Lots of fun, lots of energy, lots of laughs.”
The show runs from Sept. 8 to 10, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30.pm shows on Sept. 9, and a 7:30 p.m. show on September 10.
Circus production new for Jupiter Theatre
He said that the show was lighter than other shows Jupiter has put on recently, like Frankenstein, leaning heavily into comedy and spectacle.
“We do have circus acts and we are hoping to wow people, but there’s layers there that people will come away thinking and feeling and being entertained all at the same time,” Cooper said.
“Our production is more theatrical, we do have dialogue scenes, it’s very story-driven, just like a theatre play would be.”
Cooper said that the production is delving into new territory for Jupiter Theatre, which has mostly focused on shows aimed at adults. This production, he said, although not aimed specifically for younger audiences, was much more accessible to those ages.
“We really do want it to be enjoyed by all ages. The way I’ve sort of been thinking about it is like the movie Shrek, where there are jokes that are for the kids, and like our show, has a lot of physical comedy and a lot of physical humour,” he said.
“There’s also jokes that are a little more geared towards the adults or the parents in the audience.”
Still, said Cooper, like any good theatre production there will be the full range of emotional experiences to be had.
“Though it’s very much more focused on comedy, entertainment, delight and wonder, there are some moments that we think people will be stunned by or moved by,” he said.
Some of that delight is going to come from a few acts, said Cooper, that people will not have seen elsewhere before.
“The circus is it’s an amazing medium, and it thrives on surprise and wonder. So we’re really excited to surprise and wild people.”
Limited show run, so get tickets soon
Cooper acknowledged that The Time Machinist is running at the same time as Cirque du Soleil’s KOOZA, and said that he hoped that audiences would have a chance to see both productions.
“Really, I hope more people will look at circus, and they’ll go see Cirque du Soleil and they’ll come to see our production and then they’ll want to see more productions in the future as well.”
The big difference for people looking to support the local arts was that the entire production of The Time Machinist is made up of local talent.
“The big thing for us is that this is a totally local production, with our artists are based here, and they are at an incredible skill level that their circus acts at a like a level where many of them could be working for Cirque du Soleil,” Cooper said.
“So we’re really proud to be presenting a production that’s full of so much local talent.”
The production of The Time Machinist is only running for four shows, and Cooper said that he expects the first two to sell out within the week.
“Two are getting there, and they have a solid amount sold. I have a feeling this is often the case with Calgary theatre audiences as the same thing happened with Frankenstein, sort of a week and a half out where we are now I was thinking, ‘oh, OK, we’re doing pretty well.’ And then Frankenstein sold out,” Cooper said.
“Because we only have four [performances], I would encourage people to get tickets not the day out—a few days in advance to make sure they’re going to be able to get their seats.”
For more information, and to purchase tickets, see www.theatrejupiter.com/thetimemachinist.