‘Bromance’, by Barely Methodical Troupe

Review from: Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh Festival Fringe; 18th August 2019

Bromance was the first show created by company Barely Methodical Troupe (in collaboration with director Eddie Kay). It opened at Edinburgh Fringe 2014 and it is safe to say that it has had a lot of success since. Returning to the Fringe in 2019, they are performing in the Assembly Rooms Music Hall which is completely filled with people coming to watch.

The show begins by exploring social etiquette, with choreography revolving around missed handshakes and awkward interactions. Through impressive acrobatics and tumbling the three performers explore the dynamics of their relationships, holding each other up, falling out and making up again. Having a cast of three lends itself to this, making it easy to give the impression that one person is left out. This allows hand-to-hand duo Beren D’Amico and Louis Gift to show off their remarkable skills, which are received by gasps from the audience.

The show touches on ideas around masculinity and friendship, revealing the importance of a support system created through intimacy. There are moments that hint that one of the performers is battling with their mental health but this switch comes out of the blue and is not entirely convincing. However, in Charlie Wheeller’s arresting Cyr wheel solo, the wheel becomes his personal space and it feels like we are given a window into his emotional internal struggle.

There is a playful feel throughout, with trousers pulled down, a sweaty cloth thrown around and a few size jokes chucked in, which go down well with the audience. The dance choreography varies from a silly school-disco feel with the robot, to some beautiful synchronised floor work. When they all come together to display trio skills they are able to keep it light and mischievous whilst demonstrating some incredible control. Beren is thrown around with great precision, with three-highs, banquine and some creative transitions in and out of big moves. Although I would personally have loved to see them use this opportunity to push at challenging some of the thematic ideas, the show is very entertaining and a lot of fun, inducing laughter and astonishment.

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