Circa: Beyond, Underbelly, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show info
Underbelly Productions and the Circa Ensemble
Created by Yaron Lifschitz and the Circa Ensemble, Yaron Lifschitz (director), Jason Organ (technical director/lighting designer), Libby McDonnell (costume designer), Jennifer Cook (director of international partnerships and programmes)
Bridie Hooper, Rowan Heydon White, Rudi Mineur, Kathryn O’Keefe, Paul O’Keefe, Skip Walker-Milne, Billie Wilson-Coffey (Circa Ensemble)
Running time

Australian circus group, Circa, has toured the world over the last eight years or so and is no stranger to the Edinburgh Fringe. They continually push themselves to the limits, each year bringing yet another new performance that hurls the wow factor at you so relentlessly that it’s difficult to catch your breath.

This year’s theme proffered the idea that humans are closer to animals than you might at first think. Cue giant furry rabbit heads and a lot of mad-cap behaviour. Literally flinging themselves across the stage, into each other’s arms – or perhaps landing on shoulders, maybe even upside-down – the mayhem had to be timed to the second, while appearing to be completely spontaneous. It was sensational.

Quieter moments included a routine, using aerial silks, of breathtaking balletic beauty. The effortless poise while engaged in impossible poses held everyone on the edge of their seat. A strong woman completed a rubik’s cube while other members of the company climbed, rolled and hung about her person – up to three at once. There was an act with a piece of paper that offered an element of pure magic but was apparently pure skill, and a dancer in crimson pointe shoes who executed her perfect pointe work while one of the male performers balanced on her shoulders.

While all this was going on, the soundtrack kept up a perfect pace. From Sinatra’s New York, New York, to the Sex Pistol’s rendition of My Way, each number gave a voice that matched the visual spectacle sensation.

This production threw everything at you, and by the end just about everyone, in a roar, rose to their feet. Absolutely thrilling.

Runs until 25th August (not 20th) at 7pm.