Edinburgh Fringe 2016
Circus skills of the highest order in a pacey, engaging and noisy fifty minutes of pure bedlam.
Bedlam and balloons greet me as I squeeze myself into a very small space at the Assembly Gardens Piccolo Tent. Wedged in beside a mum and a very engaging six-month old with an acute interest in my spectacles, I wondered just quite what I’d let myself in for as Kylie and Jason (aka Malia Walsh, founder of Circus Trick Tease and Chris Carlos, her engaging side kick) burst onto the stage amidst flashing lights, beating disco music and much yelling from the young and old in this heaving mass of humanity.
The trick with all kids shows is grab their attention early and then never let go. So we had a high energy opening routine of slapstick physical theatre, dance, mime and some extremely impressive circus skills, feats of both strength and balance that brought spontaneous gasps of amazement and applause.
And what better way to retain kids’ attention than to say all those rude words that families often forbid, like “fart”, “bottom”, “bum bum” and many more. An even better way is to call for volunteers to come up on stage and help out the performers. They needed just three for one stunt but could have had at least twenty times that number judging from the sea of hands trying to attract their attention.
Working with kids can be a nightmare, but this duet clearly revel in it, dealing seamlessly with unscheduled squawks and those priceless interjections that only a child who’s totally engrossed in the action can come up with, oblivious to all around them. There’s a genuine warmth and real care in their approach to involving the youngsters – why else would a four year old happily go off stage with a stranger and return, costumed up, ready to make her debut as an acrobatic performer. That’s one tot who won’t forget this show in a hurry.
Make no mistake though, for all the tomfoolery, fart jokes and throw away lines that keep the adults engaged, these guys are the real deal when it comes to circus performers. Acrobatics, juggling, dance, mime, movement and some impressive work with hula hoops mark this pair out as artists at the top of their profession, no more so than when Carlos performed a handstand on top of five stacked chairs. Just don’t try this with the dining room furniture as it’ll all end in tears.
Never mind the kids, this was fifty minutes of jaw-dropping circus trick tease that had the adults crying for more. A “must see” for all shapes and sizes, particularly little people.