Fringe Review: Circa Beyond - Underbelly McEwan Hall ✭✭✭✭✭


Review by Graeme Shield

Australian group Circa flip, fly and bounce into Edinburgh with their show, Beyond – an enthralling cocktail of acrobatic wonder and theatrical flair.
Beyond promises to take you ‘beyond’ the blurred line between human nature and animal instinct – the performers wear a mixture of fake animal costumes (including a big cuddly teddy bear) – and despite nearly 300 performances ofBeyond worldwide en route to Edinburgh, Circa present what still feels like an incredibly fresh box of delights for audiences of all ages to enjoy.
Created by Circa Artistic Director, Yaron Lifschitz, along with the 7-strong ensemble of Bridie HooperRowan Heydon WhiteRudi MineurKathryn O’KeeffePaul O’KeeffeSkip Walker-Milne and Billie Wilson-Coffey, the show features gravity-defying feats of physical skill including (but not limited to): acrobatics while trying to solve a RubiksCube (brilliant), a man dressed as a bear jumping from pole to pole (mental) and an edge-of-your-seat double trapeze routine (heart-stopping).
The tone of Beyond is very playful, the performers showing a physical dexterity and intuitive sense of comedic performance which can only be matched by animated characters. Watching this well-connected ensemble perform gravity-defying feats with such breathtaking precision is similar to watching agog as jungle animals fight and play, from the relative safety of your own safari jeep auditorium seat.
A moment also to mention the fantastic technical direction & lighting design of the show by Jason Organ whose transitions were seamless and at times inspired, scenes and performers melting from one to another.
Perhaps a show featuring circus acrobats wouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Edinburgh Fringe, but any show which can incorporate skilled acrobatics, comedy and the music of Bonnie Tyler and Eduard Khil is always sure to delight an expectant and ever more demanding Edinburgh Fringe audience. It fully deserves to be one of the most popular acts of Edinburgh 2014. Simply mesmeric.
Circa’s Beyond is at the Underbelly McEwan Hall at 7pm, until 25th August 2014.
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