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Edinburgh Fringe 2015


Underbelly Productions, Strut & Fret Production House and Southbank Centre

Genre: Circus

Venue: Underbelly Circus Hub


Low Down

A dark, eclectic show of live music, dance, and incredible circus acts entwined to create a spectacular experience.


The circus comes to town in spectacular fashion with Limbo at the new Underbelly Circus Hub. Bringing danger and darkness to the Fringe Limbo serves up a wide selection of acts including live music, dance acts, fire eating, sword swallowing, and contortion.

Attention is captured from the first moment given the atmospheric lighting and heavy beats of the spectacular music, courtesy of the live band on stage. There is something to retain that attention at every moment, even during set modifications, the band is of such high quality that even just hearing them play is a joy.

Each performer is highly skilled and each act impeccably executed, with every movement even when entering and exiting the stage being deliberate and a part of the act itself. The acts each stand alone yet they are all linked and entwine with each other seamlessly with the performers crossing in and out of the acts of others, building it up into one large performance despite it essentially being comprised of solo acts, with the ringmaster being the omnipotent ruler of them all, the glue holding them all together.

Elyas Khan as Ringmaster, all in white, is a powerful presence. Communicating only in rather terrifying harmonica sounds as he pushes each act to go that one step further, usually into attempting more daring situations such as Danik Abishev and his spectacular hand balancing routine who after finishing his routine is forced back to do it one handed which is incredible to watch.

One of the many highlights of show is Heather Holliday who creates a stunning display of fire eating and fire breathing. There is a natural seductive quality to her which exudes into her performance as she plays with fire as if it were candy floss, it is perhaps the most visually exciting piece and one that stays in the memory.

Aurélien Oudot, contortionist, is surprisingly amazing to watch as he performs with humour and style though it must be said there is something slightly creepy about a contortionist. Mikael Bres gives a very memorable performance on the pole, the sheer amount of heart-stopping moments as he performs gravity defying moves and teases the audience with potentially fatal tricks is almost too much.

There is a very old-school vibe to Limbo hailing back to the early twentieth century in terms of style yet it also rooted very much in the modern day, melding the two to create a unique feel. Inparticular the tap dancing by Hilton Denis, which is a medium mainly forgotten, felt incredibly fresh and was fantastic to watch, no tricks or gimmicks simply one charismatic performer tap dancing to incredible music.

The only issue that can possibly be raised is that to begin with it seems the female performers are there purely for their aesthetics and while this does lessen – the fire-eater certainly earns her place and perhaps steals the show infact – this is clearly a male dominated performance.

Limbo is a visually and auditory stunning performance full of excitement, fun, and incredible energy. It does not rely on heavy make up or cheap tricks, the acts and the performers speak for themselves and prove themselves as real talents. Every piece of the show comes together seamlessly, It is a show you never want to end and blows every other circus act to date out of the clown infested waters.