The show kicks off in a way I’ve never seen before, with contortionists undressing. Moving in to some acrobatic floor work they build tension and energy with a great soundtrack of stringed instruments prevailing.
Every movement of the performers is distinct, definite and sharp. Even walking on stage has a purpose, they work as a team - freezing and moving as one. The pace of the show is excellent, moving between acts seamlessly, bouncing off one another and having excellent timing.
There are jumps, swings, climbs and slides all executed with precision; to a point of almost certain danger and calamity ensuing. At one point five performers jump and tumble over another performer simultaneously from the five points on a star. Getting their height, power and timing so right was crucial and breathtaking. From this to a sequence of moving people to the front of a line - a chance to find new ways to jump a queue!
The show also includes perhaps one of the best rope performance sequences I’ve ever seen, and throughout they're constantly pushing what is physically possible to the utmost limit. But they also throw in quite a few moments of humour and comedy. They do change tempo at various points, they use lighting to focus on different parts of the stage which aid in the set-up of the next act, and contribute to the seamless nature - no black-outs whilst the next act is set-up once you’re in to the show.
Adding to the emotion and feeling of the show were many great triple height towers, bringing a whole new meaning to standing on the shoulders of those who’ve come before you. There are many throws of performers around the stage, and the expressions given helped convey what these mean; especially when you could see what seemed to be sheer terror.
It wasn’t all high-octane action however, the show moved between ensemble pieces and solo pieces, and included a marionette sequence which was all about balance and flexibility, mirroring earlier contemporary dance pieces. Every aspect of this show is designed to explore the limits of humans, to take us on a journey.
This is an edge-of-your-seat, breathtaking performance of dance, physical theatre and circus at it’s best. A wonderful mid-evening show that you must see.
7pm at Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows most days: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/circa-humans