Edinburgh EH8 9LH
Runs: 1 hr
TICKETS: on-line: www.assemblyfestival.com
Review: by Carole Woddis of performances seen Aug 21, 2012
Somehow the Australians seem to do it best.
Circus is hardly unknown to these shores. See how the training and circus schools have taken off in recent years. And there’s been no lack of visitors from the eye boggling Cirque du Soleil to the headbangers who were Archaos.
Somehow, though, Australians always just seem to do it better.
Some may remember one of the first visitors to these shores in the 1980s was the much loved Circus Oz who first showed us how circus could be played with just as much artistry whilst having tongue firmly lodged in cheek.
Since then there’s been a steady stream of antipodean acrobatic maestros. Knee Deep, who graced the velvet and brocade Victorian splendour of Edinburgh’s Spiegeltent for three weeks at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe are just the latest physical spellbinders.
A quartet of splendidly mixed, mostly bare-chested body shapes, in the intimacy of the Spiegeltent, we were up close and personal with a group who perform on egg shells to make a point about risk and delicacy.
In between times, they also treat us to a series of flying feats on trapeze and rope but most of all to human ladder contortions that demanded absolute trust and coordination.
Knee Deep – unfortunately they came without cast list or credit sheet so I can’t tell you who was who – comprise three fellas and one young woman. She of the spikey fair hair and strong torso thought nothing of holding up the three fellas at the bottom of the pyramid. Nor from pressing a nail up her nose.
But that was a rare surrender to sensationalism in a show that impresses far more by its control and sinewy body moves than whiz bang feats of daring do. As a friend said, it was as if the show had been created on a beach somewhere out of sheer exuberance and wonder at how far they could go climbing up and in and out of each other.
The result – the toast of the Adelaide Fringe apparently – achieved a kind of balletic beauty from a group who clearly prize muscle toned transparency and understatement above glitzy spectacle. By the end, you just love ‘em, tattooes and all!
Presented by Casus and Assembly