Adelaide Fringe 2014
‘A Simple Space’ is a physical theatre extravaganza presented by 8 (extremely strong and flexible) performers. The crew of eight guys and two gals move their way through a series of mind-bending gymnastics and death-defying stunts, all laced with a subtle comedic edge. One thing is guaranteed—you have never seen bodies do things like this before.
From the outset you can tell this isn’t just your average physical theatre group. The eight strong company, wearing an unassuming combination of beige chinos and coloured t-shirts, lure the audience into a false sense of security with a fairly harmless strip-skipping competition.
What follows is far from harmless as the performers guide the audience through a series of death-defying feats, bending their supple bodies in ways that shouldn’t be possible, and producing shapes that resemble pretzels rather than human.
As the show progresses, each member show off their individual talent—from hanging off an aerial bar by only her flexed feet, to solving a Rubik’s cube while balanced on his head. The show comes full circle to another skipping game, only this time the ropes are human.
Throughout the show there is a definite sense of competition among the group members with their facial expressions and smiles suggesting private jokes, which, far from annoying, only makes the performance more intriguing.
If all this, often heart stopping, excitement wasn’t enough, the physical performers are moved from one fluid movement to the next by the live musical styling of the eighth group member. Who, coincidentally, was the winner of strip-skipping (I’ll let your imagination wander for a moment).
If you’re partial to a bit of non-committal audience participation imagine being handed colourful balls while the performers arrange themselves into a semicircle of handstands, then being instructed to throw them at the inverted cast until each and every one can no longer hold the pose.
This homegrown Aussie group completely exceed all expectations with a winning combination of superior skill, innovative movement and competitive theme. Any initial concerns at the cosy nature of the seating arrangements instantly dissolved the minute these body magicians took to the stage. My only warning would be that it’s not for the faint hearted, but if you think you can toughen up for 50 minutes then this is a show I would recommend to all.