Archive for August 15th, 2017



Now this is what you call a show!
Gripping from its slow erotic beginnings, as sinuous bodies twist and meld into almost inhuman forms to the beautiful strains of a soothing violin which becomes more intense then frantic as the bodies become even more mellifluous, right through until its exhausting conclusion when all ten bodies roll around in choreographed unison.
Focusing on how much the human body can take and how far it can push itself the ten acrobats onstage push themselves to extremes creating human towers, throwing themselves across the stage, contorting and twisting into fantastical shapes, gliding and hanging from ropes and relying on each other and their own primal instincts continually whilst making it all look so effortless.
To say that I was spellbound by this performance would be an understatement. There was not one moment where I felt I could take my eyes away from the many things that were happening on the stage; often simultaneously. Obviously in peak condition the ten performers seemed to not even break sweat as they shifted gracefully from one routine to another until the whole show seemed seamless.The dynamism and obvious silent rapport the performers have with each other never fails to impress and the trust between them is obvious to any spectator.
Certainly a Fringe Highlight Circa have become a regular fixture and every year not only do they deliver but every year they seem to take things a step further. Definitely a show I would recommend to anyone and probably the best thing I have seen yet this year. And this has been a good year!
Circa: Humans is on at Underbelly Circus Hub on The Meadows until August 28th at 8pm



I must admit to being slightly bemused by this show written and created by Ben Kulvichit and Clara Potter-Sweet. It seemed to be trying to be several things but lacked any real sense of focus or cohesion so was therefore directionless.
Opening with a dance routine which was clunky to say the least they ran the gamut of existentialist chat, semi-nudity, concertina playing, too many awkward costume changes, musical interludes, a series of humorous sketches, a guest orator and all the way back to another not entirely gracefully choreographed dance routine.
It was a mixed bag to say the least but in their favour what they lacked in technique they made up for in youthful exuberance. At times though it felt unfortunately half formed as if they had had a great idea but never quite followed it through; not quite taking the bull by the proverbial horns as it were.
Obviously they have something to articulate it is just that they haven’t quite grasped the medium or means in which to do it yet.
On the plus side it was in no way offensive or even difficult to watch. For a first performance of a debut show it might not have fulfilled the ambitions it was reaching for but at least there is some basic groundwork which can be worked up and improved upon.
Celebration is playing at Zoo Monkey House at 5.45pm until August 28th.


Gypsy Queen

This impressive two hander written by Rob Ward- who also performs- and directed by Adam Zane from the About Hope Theatre Company addresses the issue of homophobia in the world of sport and, in this particular case, boxing and pulls no punches either in its delivery or message. Written in some reaction to Tyson Fury’s homophobic remarks of 2015 it looks at the burgeoning relationship of two boxers and how it impacts on their family life and career.
Although there are only two actors ever onstage they inhabit various roles via quick and simple costume changes but relying on nuance and performance skills more. Alongside Ward- main character ‘Gorgeous’ George, is an equally impressive Ryan Clayton whose main character Dane ‘The Pain’ Clayton is the son of local gym owner and whose homosexuality is an open secret that is never really discussed; tolerant homophobia so to speak. George is uncertain of his sexuality but coming into contact with Dane and impressed with his attitude of nonchalance and self confidence finds himself drawn to him in a way that he has previously been unable to address within himself.
Along the way the two actors dip in and out of various characters including camp lovers, demanding parents, cousins and, in one particularly humorous turn from Clayton, George’s mother.
The show is nicely paced allowing you to absorb the various dramas and emotions unfolding and the script is nuanced to contain dry biting humour, tender emotions, anger, frustration and empathy. The two actors manage to convince whichever role they are in at any particular time but it is as Dane and George that they really capture the imagination.
An interesting take on the LGBTQ issues in sport and with so few sportspeople actually ‘out’ it is maybe time we considered why and how it could be easier for them. As this play proves in its outcome, being silently tolerant is not always enough!
Gypsy Queen is on at The Assembly Rooms at 1pm until 28th August