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Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Circus Incognitus

Jamie Adkins

Genre: Circus

Venue: New Town Theatre


Low Down

"Jamie Adkins is a performer in the vaudeville tradition of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. With no hi-tech distractions, his irresistible character heroically battles with the everyday objects of life, permanently on the verge of disaster… moving but hilarious."


Jamie Adkins’ brings us a traditional Vaudeville feel comedy show with all kinds of clownish antics and often breathtaking feats and tricks. This is an hour of pure fun as we share in Adkins’ worried journey through finding a place to finally hang his jacket. Juggling, tightrope, target, throw and catch are just some of the set pieces on show.

Adkins is a natural clown – a comedian to whom it is impossible not to warm. He is an outstanding circus performer, develops a rapport with the audience which had them oohing, aahing and whooping with laughter and delight. From toddler to pensioner, the audience loved every minute of this diverse circus production. There’s big act circus blended with close in skill. Sometimes big, bold and brash, sometimes tender and delicate. Always mastery on show.

What marks the performer out as unique is his blend of naturalism and caricature. One moment we are in idle banter with the man, the next we share the tears of the clown. The routines are not particularly revolutionary, yet they are all delivered pitch perfectly, and even when something goes awry, the laughs and wonder are gathered in with some clever improv.

So many sight gags, simple sighs or reactions from Adkins light up the audience, as they erupt into laughter one moment, appreciation at another as the sheer skill of the man, and also his ability to stay in communication with them, even as he juggles another seemingly impossible something in the air!

There’s narrative here, little vignettes that play into each other; there’s plenty of archetypal clown, small emotional journeys, built around a set of circus routines that build upon each other to a delightful and impressive "grand" finale.

I’m more than happy to strongly recommend Circus Incognitus as a show for the whole family. It got several standing ovations. More than well deserved.


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