‘Staged’, by Circumference

Review from: Zoo Southside, Edinburgh Festival Fringe; 19th August 2019

The latest show from Circumference, Staged,​ is an incredible reflection of the conflict and instability of our time. It is able to dissect the practise of circus performance by exposing areas of tension and urging us to consider our role. The performance takes place on a structure designed by Pablo Meneu. It is a large floating platform made from slats of wood, suspended by wires and strops. The three performers (Aislinn Mulligan, Gemma Palomar and Matt Smith) navigate their way around on it, their body weight tilting it in all directions. The wood creaks as it moves, giving it an undertone of fragility and making me view it as some form of survival raft.

The nature of this constantly evolving set allows for a lot of experimentation with spatial relationships, as they dangle off the edge, play with which way is up and perform tentative balances. The unstable floor gives acrobatics a new dynamic. The stakes are higher and so there is an increase in the need for precision in movement and effective cooperation. This means we invest in the uncertainty and there is a sense of relief whenever a difficult sequence is completed. The performers show us raw and honest journeys, making it a successful microcosm. This show makes a lasting impression beyond what I can write here, and I would encourage everyone who can to go and see it.

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