Edinburgh Fringe 2023
A whole range of circus technique – hoops, silks, balance work, boxes, tumbling, acrobatics etc. are all placed under a tent for us all to admire and applaud.
There was space too for boxes which I love to see and again some original work to show the manual dexterity of our performer. The hoops work was equally nice, though I have seen hula done with more complexity this Fringe. The acrobatics was impressive, especially leading to the finale where the group of eight physical performers worked really well as one.
But what raised this above most of what I have seen is the framing of the entire show. Transitions were integrated into the performance so when they needed to lift something off the floor, that became part of the act, when something needed to be taken off the hook, we were diverted elsewhere to watch another feat of circus skill. There is no narrative, no plot to be followed so this becomes about using the aesthetic to secure the flow of performance and guide the audience with you – it’s an energetic beat, a nightclub of heady thumping and a wished for throbbing of bodies – works exceptionally well, like an out of body rave that you wished you had been part of and forgotten about.
The Peep Show earned its name with two routines which tantalised and played with us. The first was a sequence of striptease which suggested there may be an opportunity for a member of the audience to come up and hold onto the bare breasts of one of our performers. It titillated and made me squirm in equal measure as I started to think about the legal ramifications, the inappropriateness and so on, and they knew how awkward that would make us all feel. I was set up nicely and I shall leave you to go and see how it was resolved but resolved it was!
The second was the almost topless silks performance and the performers in thongs for much of the show. Again, we were clearly reminded that it was an adult show with much of performance targeted at an audience who were allowed out alone after dark. Once more what it managed to do was to make us very aware not just of who we were but also of the beauty of the skills on show.
There was a DJ onstage throughout and most of the atmospheric music was original whilst where it was recognisable it was poised and pitched perfectly.
There are few circus performers out there to match this company for the packaging they have managed to put together, but once unwrapped what you uncover is very much worth the excited anticipation of the present it has truly given you.