Edinburgh Fringe 2016
This quirky family skilfully integrates hand balancing and hilarious slapstick in a variety of ways throughout the show. It’s all very inventive, sometimes scary but always entertaining and fun.
The Hogwallups are a family of mum, dad, daughter, a mischievous son and an uncle. We meet them in their home – in the large Circus Hub tent on the Meadows. However, they are a zany family of acrobats who integrate well-honed circus skills into everything. They even use their kitchen appliances in the balancing acts of their daily lives. You will never look at your microwave in the same way again! But don’t try this at home.
This quirky family skilfully integrates hand balancing and hilarious slapstick in a variety of ways throughout the show. It’s all very inventive and sometimes scary when looking at the height as they clamber on top of each other to stand on shoulders and boxes. What sets them apart from an acrobatic show are their theatrical characters and how they relate to each other – such as building the tricks out of the family activities – which complements the skills, which is more interesting. Not a moment is missed as they transition to the next trick. They perform some unique balances on the huge kitchen table and high blocks. Laundry is even done in an acrobatic way.
Music underscores a lot of the show, it’s jazzy, moody or peppy and sometimes the uncle character plays a musical instrument live. The design of the show (costumes, props, set pieces) is retro and they play family games that develop into body sliding or juggling, which is very clever. Mainly silent, there is little dialogue throughout except for a few words here and there. Clown like transitions from one scene to the next are interesting and there are a few sight gags along the way. A highlight is the trapeze act that is done in a very unusual style – creative and playful involving unusual objects!
This close knit family is ready to have fun at everything they do. They enjoy life and each other. While they are a generally upbeat family, there are some emotional moments, which add dimension and draw empathy from the audience. The Hogwallups are dynamic and energetic, and present a wonderful show, that is entertaining and fun for everyone.