Review: High Society, Circus Big Top, Glastonbury Festival 2023

Such was the attraction of High Society that we couldn’t even get into the tent. Never mind Elton John’s much-hyped performance at the Pyramid Stage, where one of the festival’s largest-ever crowds is anticipated, it was standing room only in the Circus Big Top for High Society. Even with six performances across the weekend, this is an act in demand.

Instead, I found the best angle possible amongst the crowd peering through the open doorway, bending to see the incredible acrobatic abilities of High Society as they moved higher and higher into the heavens above the stage. Created by Above and Beyond Aerial Theatre it’s an incredible display of aerial mastery – even with the tent’s safety net these felt like death-defying acts.

The music choices for the performance’s soundtrack were inspired – from John Lennon to Guns n’ Roses, the latter particularly rallying parts of the crowd given their place on the Glastonbury line-up.

The loose narrative of the piece adds some structure to the act and breaks up the acrobatics into digestible chunks for the audience as they perform one incredible move after another. There was variety too with juggling to allow us to catch our breath between the flying trapeze and aerial pieces.

Unsurprisingly, the standing ovation started the moment the performance finished – both inside and outside the big top.

High Society was at Glastonbury Festival 2023