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Edinburgh Fringe 2022


Cirk La Putyka, Prague

Genre: Circus, Dance

Venue: ZOO Southside


Low Down

Award-winning contemporary circus company returns with an extraordinary show looking at the hectic pace of today’s world. In a unique set design featuring a giant treadmill, four performers and two musicians mix dance, running, cyr-wheel acrobatics and original live music, while running almost a whole marathon. This UK debut for Runners marks the company’s fourth Edinburgh appearance following sell-out seasons in 2011, 2015 and 2017.


Four highly skilled acrobatic performers run, dance, balance, jump and more on a giant treadmill set diagonally on the stage. It’s an inspired concept with magical results!

These international performers are also storytellers, they each have their own moment to share an impactful personal story spoken directly to the audience, which also serves as the introduction and basis to their solo act, showcasing their outstanding physical skills and expert timing.

Cirk La Putyka, from Prague, Czech Republic comprises several original shows performed by professional circus artists dedicated to its own neo-circus-theatre style. Runners, directed by Rostislav Novák Jr. and Vít Neznal makes its debut at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2022, and sets out “to examine the experience of time in a world that demands everything be done in haste”.

Accompanied by beautiful live original music, composed by Jan Čtvrtník and Veronika Linhartová, with sound design by Jan Středa and choreography by Dora Sulženko Hoštová each act transitions seamlessly from one to the other and has it’s own flavour, specialist skills and unique qualities.

In between the solo acts combinations of all four, three or two performers walk, run, jump or twist on the moving treadmill to spoken songs including words “you must run or walk faster to survive” and “all life happens on the road” or instrumental music. The movement and choreographed dances are fresh, original and interesting, with graceful dance and dynamic jumps, making it all look easy!

Wonderful tango music accompanies an imaginative act with balloons, then a story about a specific meal leads to dynamic acrobatic moves on and off the treadmill, and a poignant dance are all expertly and precisely performed as well as very exciting.

At times the treadmill varies its speed while performers are running, which is thrilling! A highlight is a cyr wheel sequence by Ethan Law – performed both on and off the treadmill, which is daring stuff!

Dramatic lighting design by Jiří (Zewll) Maleňák and set design by Pavla Kamanová with modern stylish costume design by NoN Grata and Mikuláš Brukner complement the circus skills, stories and performances effectively.

A theme in this show is of friendship and love and it shows in the camaraderie and collaboration of the troupe. Even the musicians have a chance at the treadmill, which is wonderful! Time passes fast watching this warm, joyous and uplifting show which will thrill everyone watching.

Cirk La Putyka successfully explores all the possibilities of integrating a treadmill – possibly one of the largest treadmills you will ever see into this impressive new show – with exciting dynamic circus based acrobatic and athletic skills threaded into fascinating stories.

This show was very well received by the audience at the performance I attended, ending with a standing ovation. Runners weaves excellent circus skills and dance into a creative original themed show with a strong cast of skilled performers and musicians.