With over 3000 shows now on sale for the 2022 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, trying to narrow down what to see can be a bit of a task. BWW reviewer Natalie O’Donoghue has selected her top ten picks across the festival programme to highlight the shows you really don’t want to miss this year.
Cirque Alfonse takes us through a series of surreal farm fables served up with a touch of irreverence, impressive virtuosity and the company’s familiar comic touch. In this re-invented agricultural world, the farm is turned upside down! Yet again, the Cirque Alfonse clan has favoured its multidisciplinary approach where circus, song, dance and theatre all come together, driven by original live music… an irresistible mix of trad and soul that the troupe calls agricultural funk! A production for young and old alike, Animal is the farm gone haywire!
A live circus rock tribute to the original rebel, David Bowie. Stage dive into the mosh pit for a night of live music, glittering glam rock, phenomenal acrobatics, breath-taking aerials and spectacular heart-stopping sideshow. Combining music and circus, bringing to life an incredible body of work that spanned over 50 years, with an aesthetic that inspired generations.
The show that thrilled the world is back! Joining the energy of Africa with a rhythm and blues sound, five extraordinary acrobats perform their comedy tribute to the cult movie The Blues Brothers. In an elegant nightclub reminiscent of the Cotton Club, the surroundings become props for acrobatic feats. Expect breathtaking jumps, fire, somersault routines, human pyramids and so much more. A show acclaimed by more than 300,000 people across the world, including Pope Francis and Prince Albert. After an astonishing appearance at the Royal Variety Performance, they return to Edinburgh… on a mission to entertain!
From the creators of the smash-hit Elixir (winner of Best Circus and Physical Theatre award at Adelaide Fringe 2018). Welcome to Railed, a western-themed circus spectacular, combining the trademark physical talents, finely chiselled bodies and hilarious comic timing of the Head First Acrobats. Prepare yourself for when bare-chested circus meets bare-knuckle bar fights. A racy, heart-stopping display of the finest acrobatics by the most ridiculous storytellers in the circus. Leave your expectations at home, come to the wrong side of the tracks, and let the HFA boys steal your hearts.
A symphony of acrobatics, sound and light, this is next-level circus by Circa. 10 bodies appear in a flash of light. They move in harmony for a fleeting moment and then descend into a sinuous trance. Towers grow and decay, bodies leap and are caught, as physical limits are pushed to their extreme. Can we ever find a perfect balance or is adapting to constant change the only way forward? A tightly woven choreography of bodies, pulsing with music, Humans 2.0 is intimate, primal and deeply engaged with the challenge of being human.
What does it mean to be a woman? Muse attempts to answer this question circus style! There’s hardly just one answer and exploring the question calls for some… acrobatics. The show’s collection of eclectic performers will have to choose between a football uniform or ballet outfit, but few actually identify with either of these archetypes. Playing with gender roles, Muse offers up a refreshing view of contemporary circus. Get ready to see powerful women, graceful men and every permutation in between. Whether wearing high heels or shoulder pads, the acrobats’ bodies are sure to amaze.
Brave Space is the building of a blanket fort, sneaking under a hoop skirt, an impulsive congregation in the tiniest of tents. Starting as a puddle of fabric on the floor, it grows to encompass a wondrous world of circus. Intimate and low tech, the audience sits nose-to-nose with an all-female cast of bold physical artists to build the world we want to live in, even for only a few shared moments. ‘Brave Space imagines a kind of dystopian utopia, in which peril is made present but survivable, even beautiful. Its living, beating heart remains constant’ (Chicago Tribune).
The UK’s hottest circus company, Barely Methodical Troupe brings you their five-star hit about group dynamics and camaraderie. Their physical prowess is deftly deployed, as tumbling, flying and catching become challenges and opportunities for individual bids for recognition. KIN was an instant hit with audiences and critics, playing sell-out shows at the Roundhouse and London International Mime Festival 2022. BMT is at the forefront of a new kind of physical performance, creating highly entertaining shows that mix the show-stopping acrobatics of circus with the emotional punch of theatre.
Dance is meant to be about self-expression. A place to explore who you are. But what if you don’t have a typical contemporary dance body? Where do you fit in? Internationally acclaimed writer and performer Yolanda Mercy (Quarter Life Crisis) challenges what being a plus-sized body means in the contemporary dance world; reconnecting with her dance roots and drawing on the challenges faced by plus sized people in formal training and on the dance floor. In a joyous fusion of theatre and contemporary dance, Dance Body is reclaiming space for plus sized bodies in dance.
An irresistibly colourful, loud and fun show for all the family by Lost in Translation, one of the UK’s leading contemporary circus companies and Guinness World Record holders. With thrillingly spectacular circus skills, physical comedy, theatrical storytelling and slapstick, Hotel Paradiso sees the staff family tackle the scheming banker as he tries to possess the Hotel Paradiso. Full of hijinks and impeccable clowning, Lost in Translation will treat audiences to heart-stopping aerial, stunning floor acrobatics and extraordinary juggling.
Link to article at Broadway World.