Edinburgh Fringe 2016
“360 Allstars is a phenomenal physical performance exploring all forms of rotation. Boasting a stellar international cast, including world champion athletes and world-class performers, the production connects the street with the elite to deliver a radical reinvention of circus! Fusing amazing physical skills with the extraordinary artistry that emerges from urban culture and with a stunning live soundtrack delivered by award-winning musicians,”
The clue is firmly in the title – this show revolves around an elite circle of performers derived from various urban disciplines, exploring the myriad forms of rotation in each particular skill. Turning the traditional circus format on its head, the guys tear the place up with their frenetic skills. Allstars is an apt title given that we get to see a 2x world champion BMX flatlander, 2 world champion breakdancers, a basketball freestyler, a roue cyr artist & 2 supremely talented musicians in action.
The entire production is a veritable Catherine wheel of excellence, and rarely have I seen such enthusiasm and sheer joy in a crowd. The show opens by introducing all 7 performers, revealing elements of their various skills – it’s high octane stuff. Given the diversity on offer, the sequence is perfectly timed and only serves to set the pace for the next hour.
The production takes the classic circus acts and replaces them with a new spin in the ring. Swapping Breakdancers for acrobats, basketball freestyler for juggler, BMX flatland champ for unicycle expert – the Allstars command attention from all ages in the spectrum.
My personal highlight was the realisation that the two musicians in the troupe were creating an entirely live soundtrack. An astonishing performance by loop artist Sam Perry allowed the audience to see how live looped vocals can be expertly laid together to produce a music track using nothing but the voice. He demonstrated this further using a sequence of visuals on surround screens which is possibly the best way to illustrate live beatboxing I’ve seen to date.
Whilst the pace of the show never flags, elements of comic relief are provided in the supremely catchy sequence from Basketball Man – if in doubt, push the red button. And the twin talents of Bboys Leerock and Kaseem spring to life in a neatly conceived computer game simulation.
The final section of the show allows us to watch the roué cyr master, Rhys Miller, spin his magic and then more, when a few of the others take a turn on the wheel to comic effect. With a suitable high octane finale the show ends with a bang to an inevitable standing ovation. This is the rare show that all ages can appreciate, and it is a real treat to have such a high calibre of street talent on the stage at one time.