Despite being the subtitle to the show, ‘Wolfpack’ is apparently a mistranslation. La Meute’s own website, describes their acrobats as being more like a pack of dogs—a tightly-knit gang, who have each other’s backs, no matter how death-defying the stunt.
Either way, there’s a heady, intoxicating wildness to this production. The stage is stripped back, with harsh lights, exposed wires and frequent prop shuffling. At first, things take a little bedding-in, acts sometimes feeling disjointed, with no over-arching “theme”. However, this ceases to matter once you get lost in the sheer joy of the performance. The whole gang pile onto a single bicycle; a man hurtles through the air in a strait-jacket; the smallest performer delicately leaps from crotch to crotch (making the towel loincloth costumes a much more sensible option than they at first may seem). There’s even live music provided by resting acrobats, gorgeous and haunting in equal measure.
The skill on display, aside from being extremely accomplished, is raw, naked (literally, for most of the show) and full of Gallic humour. Every trick, no matter how accomplished, is performed with a wry smile; a shrugged shoulder and a feeling of quiet confidence, rather than a grand razzmatazz. It’s as if they are saying, ‘I have just done a triple somersault eight metres high in the air—bof. Ce n’etait rein.’ Yet, it’s far from nothing: the whole show is, in fact, rather special.