Edinburgh Fringe 2022
Six performers, a variety of circus skills, dance skills from hip hop, b-popping and pop combine for a too short hour. Skilled in the art of selling their wares, we are presented with a selection of their balances, performances, lip synching, dancing and circus performances that range from the shooting of an arrow from a bow upside down, using your feet, using a square board for balance, a running prestidigitation gag and enough pizazz to fill the entire George Square Gardens.
Within five minutes, I am, as Tommy Cooper was apt to quip, leaking. The Piccolo is not for the feint minded. It is a sauna but the enthusiasm in the room means that we are aware but not overly affected by the conditions. Things begin with all six performers presented in a row as the sounds of a machine are played and lights begin to dance between them until a selection is made and the ones facing front is who is going to entertain. It is a motif repeated throughout the show which works well as an anchor.
Each section has its own vignette with skill at front and forefront of the performance, but it is added to by this company’s exceptional ability to sell themselves. Each one of them has little doubt that they should be watched. The whole show brims with confidence and so it should as it shines with great skill. There is nothing particularly new here but there is sufficient creativity throughout that makes it feels fresh.
There were a couple of moments when a balance would not work or that the transitions were not quite the smoothest, but the key moments were, for me, when they worked as a team. The beginning was well worked, and we were onside for a high octane show. When it dipped there were moments that it felt like it had lost its way and the rhythm was affected. In one sketch – the bus stop – it also needed better framing at the beginning just to draw us in. however the key skills of the two principal performers were such that once you had the idea it was all good.
Audience participation also seemed to be a filler rather than serve a purpose, but this was a crowd more than willing to be engaged in whooping, aweing and standing when applauding. I found the basic skills of balance, the rope, hula hoop, the rope, leading to the new (ish) twist of the William Tell bow and arrow and the hip hop were highlights for me.
Perhaps if the balance of the show was addressed it would ebb and flow a little better but around me there was nobody who had a critical word to say about it all. Who am I to argue with that type of recommendation?