Edinburgh Fringe Photo Diary

During this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, circus photographer Mark Robson from Inept Gravity is documenting his days through pictures. This post will grow as the festival goes on, so do pop back!


Day 8:
Saturday
Play 3.0, by Sirqus Alfon, is not your normal circus show. I’m not sure I would call it circus but I don’t know what I would call it. Bonkers high energy band with gadgets galore. Great fun.

Play 3.0 by Cirqus Alfon
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Casting Off,  by A Good Catch, is brilliant show that is a conversation between 3 generations of women all the while doing amazing circus. It won the Total Theatre Award for Circus in 2018.

Casting Off by A Good Catch
IMAGE:Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Briefs Sweatshop is another show from the Briefs Factory team, giving us more of what you would expect from Briefs but featuring a new compere and cast members since I saw them last. Casting Off and Briefs Sweatshop are both produced and supported at the fringe by Cluster Arts who bring a lot of Australian Circus to the fringe every year.

Briefs Sweatshop by Briefs Factory
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

More day 6 and Day 7:

Thursday night
The Chosen Haram, by Sadiq Ali, is a wonderful show featuring two chinese poles. A great example of narrative circus that really shows that circus can be used to tell stories.

The Chosen Haram by Sadiq Ali
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity
The Chosen Haram by Sadiq Ali
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Friday
The Rest of Our Lives by Jo Fong and George Orange. This is not really a circus show although a clown / circus performer is in it, it is much more a contemporary dance show. It is however an absolutely wonderful show that everyone should go and see if they get the chance.

The Rest of Our Lives by Jo Fong and George Orange
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Kin by Barely Methodical Troupe. A great acrobatic circus show presented with skill, humor, and the idea of a story. Not really sure I got what was going on in the show. Not sure that you were meant to though either.

Kin by Barely Methodical Troupe
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity
Kin by Barely Methodical Troupe
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

And, lastly, La Clique is back and on form with a great circus cabaret show.

Sam Goodburn in La Clique
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Days 5 & 6:

Here are the shots from Wednesday and Thursday as I didn’t have a chance to send any yesterday.
Boom is a collaboration between Cirk La Putyka and Kyiv Municipal Academy of Variety and Circus Art. An explosion of circus skills all over the stage, almost all the time.

A crowd of a dozen or so young white people are smiling and clapping. A young man in the centre has a woman standing on his shoulders, but her head is hidden by a whirl of blonde wig and plaits of coloured wool. The costumes are a mismatch of contemporary clothing styles. The backdrop shows printed images in various styles, including medieval, line-drawn cartoons, and early 20th century European. The end of a partially shown caption reads 'snowball fight'.
Boom by Cirk La Putyka and Kyiv Municipal Academy of Variety and Circus Art
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Rebel is a circus cabaret set to live David Bowie tracks, from the Aussie production company Highwire Entertainment, familiar to UK audiences from Rouge. It’s a David Bowie tribute band where the musicians are also the circus performers.

A white woman balances her body horizontally on top of a tower of three wooden chairs, supported by one hand. The legs of the bottom chair rest on four beer bottles, decorated with the iconic David Bowie zigzag. The bottles stand on a square wooden table. The acrobat's costumes is black and decorated with silver zigzags that evoke the iconic design on the bottles. In the background another performer wearing a Union Jack themed body suit watched. A row of five seated audience members are all taking photos on their phones
Rebel by Highwire Entertainment
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Blunderland, by Blunderland Variety, is a great late night cabaret born out of the New York underground queer nightlife scene

The photo is all in shades of blue created by the stage lighting. A woman is lying on her back on a stage prop that looks like a toilet. Her legs are up in the air, and she uses one of them to balance four paper parasols. They are stacked so that we see them as interlocking circles, one on the acrobat's foot, then two on top of that, then one more at the top.
Blunderland by Blunderland Variety
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity
A white woman with drag clown make-up sits on a stage prop that looks like a toilet. Her mouth is wide open, and she is puppeting a white doctor's coat with one arm, holing onto a red stethoscope. The rest of her costume is a modern take on 1950s style, with a lilac satin blouse and matching headscarf, tight leggings in a black and white check pattern, and strappy red high heeled shoes.
Blunderland by Blunderland Variety
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Tulu brings us more of what we expect from Circus Abyssinia.

The photo shows a Russian Swing in action. A long triangular shaped frame extends into the centre of the photo, with it's apex just off the left-hand side and its base forming a near vertical line in the centre. Two black men have their feet on this vertical platform, while their arms grab the slanting side poles of the triangle. Their bodies are nearly horizontal, with a slight bend at the waist. Around ten feet in the air above them is another man, mid-somersault, legs in the air. The face of a fourth male performer can just be seen at the bottom of the picture, watching the swing above him
Tulu by Circus Abyssinia
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Heroes, by Losers Cirque Company from the Czech Republic, has really strong imagery with an excellent mime and a company of acrobats.

Against a blue smokey background, a man in a white costume is lifted into the air by the right arms of an encircling group of seven. The seven all wear black, figure-hugging latex and mesh that includes a head covering. They wear head-torches and have bare feet.
Heroes by Losers Cirque Company
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity


Finally, Railed by Head First Acrobats is crazy Australian acrobats doing a cowboy themed show.

Three wooden chairs are stacked on the floor, and a white man balances in a single-armed handstand on the seat of the toppermost one. Another white man watches him and claps, sitting astride another of the wooden chairs.
Railed by Head First Acrobats
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Day 4:

Here are 2 more shows from Tuesday. Collision is a high energy circus-come-street-dance show, by Casus (rebranded since we saw them last as Casus Creations) and fellow Brisbaners Mad Dance House. It’s on at Assembly George Square Gardens in the Piccolo tent. 

Two acrobatic dancers, frozen in movement with their backs towards us. Each is supporting their own weight with a single hand, and their bodies are twisted into different shapes. They wear casual looking urban sportswear in red, white and orange.
Collision by Casus Creations
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Also with Assembly, but playing at their flagship Assembly Hall venue, are Flip Fabrique with Muse. The high quality circus we expect from Flip Fabrique, this time with a gender theme.

In the foreground of the picture are two white women aerialists in skin-toned lycra costumes. One hangs by her waist from a trapeze bar, holding the other by one arm and one foot. The second woman smiles up at the first. Watching them from a barely lit scaffolding tower structure behind is a black woman wearing red trousers and a brightly coloured top. At the bottom of the image two men can be seen at either side of the structure, only visible from the mid-torso up, also watching the aerialists
Muse by Flip Fabrique
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Sorry I don’t have more words in me today, bit frazzled after yesterday!

Day 3:

Yesterday I photographed Brave Space, by Aloft Circus Arts from the USA. You should just drop everything and come up here so you can see it. It is just a wonderful show.

The photographer is looking up directly underneath two female aerialists hanging down towards the camera. One has her knees hooked over a trapeze, and she holds one ankle of the second performer in her two hands. The background is panels of tent fabric joining overhead, lit in shades of pink and orange.
Brave Space by Aloft Circus Arts
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

I really can not say enough how much I loved this beautiful, lovely, wonderful show. It truly is a Brave Beautifully Brilliant show. If they don’t sell out everyday it will be a waste of someone who could have seen it. If it doesn’t win awards there is something wrong. I will be really surprised if they don’t get loads of bookings out of this. They are doing it in a Spiegeltent, it is going to fit virtually anywhere.

Walls of tent material stretch up above the top of the photo, lit in shades of red and pink. Four female performers in lacy white shorts and crop tops are clustered round a vertical pole in the centre, twice as tall as they are. They are at different heights, holding the pole upright while another woman holds on at the top, hanging upside-down using her legs and one arm to support her weight. Behind this action, seated audience members can be seen, wearing white covid-protection facemasks, looking up at the performers in the the centre.
Brave Space by Aloft Circus Arts
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Day 2:

Only photographed 2 shows yesterday. First was a visit to the Assembly Gardens Piccolo venue for Brotipo by Les Foutoukours: Acrobatic clowns from Canada who are very good at what they do. This is a lovely kids show.

One man stands, holding another man over his head with both hands. The second man has his body flat in a horizontal line. They are both wearing lime green sleeveless shirts and tight dark purple trousers with braces and lime green pinstripes. Their noses are painted red and they have white paint around their eyes, outlined in black. The standing man has a big open mouth tuned up at the corners. The man being lifted has a mouth like an O and wide eyes.
Brotipo, by Les Foutoukours
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

Then over to Zoo Southside for Runners, by Cirk La Putyka from the Czech Republic. I knew circus performers were fit but really this is ridiculous. Pretty sure that this is one of those cases where the performers make it look so easy you do not realise how hard it actually is. Really enjoyed this show.

Against a black background, two blue lights at the top of the image cast triangles of blue down onto a narrow strip of stage that runs from right to left. On the stage is a man-sized metal hoop, stood on its end like the letter O. Facing it, only a foot or two away, is a man captured in mid-run with both feet off the ground. His black trousers flap at his ankles, and his tattooed arms are bent at the elbow in a classic runner's gait.
Runners, by Cirk La Putyka
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity
Against a black background, two white lights at the top of the image cast pale smoky triangles of light down onto a narrow strip of stage that runs from left to right. On the stage is a performer facing us with an aggressively planted stance. They wear hair tied back and a thin blue dress that billows around the knee from a split up to one thigh. They are holding something that might be a toothbrush up to an open mouth. They might be screaming.
Runners, by Cirk La Putyka
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

4 shows today, not certain how coherent I will be tomorrow…

Day 1:

First show I photographed at the Fringe, taken yesterday at Assembly Roxy (Central). The show is Zoë by A Good Catch, produced in association with Cluster Arts at the Fringe. Loved the show, it was bonkers. Apparently a review called it surreal circus.

Z, by A Good Catch
IMAGE: Mark Robson of IneptGravity

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