Note: This review is from the 2015 Fringe

@ Underbelly George Square, Edinburgh, until Mon 31 Aug 2015 @ 20:00

Brisbane based Circa, the company behind five-star productions Beyond and multi award-winning Wunderkammer, challenge everything you’ve thought about circus, bringing Close Up to this year’s Fringe.

To lean, to throw, to dive, to wonder, to catch, to enfold, to jump, Circa has stripped circus back to its raw state. Four talented acrobat artists made up of two boys and two girls, execute death-defying stunts of strength, skill and timed precision, using each other to illustrate these actions, accompanied by interactive video and powerful music.

Nothing’s off limits, and the girls (and boys) demonstrate the strength and skill that years of circus training has honed. At one point, we witness one of the girls supporting the weight of both the other girl and boys on her shoulders, and in another stunt, one of the guys, jumping onto one of the girls’ ribcages whilst she is in a crab position. Insane!

Limited props include six chairs, balanced on their legs in a tower formation, whilst the acrobats climb carefully, teetering precariously at different heights, leaves us holding our breath in tension; a Chinese pole is used to execute tricks of utter strength; an aerial rope is used to demonstrate precisely timed drops and twists; and multiple hoops, built up gradually to 20+ are spun in a whirling-dervish manner, creating a visionary psychedelic spectacle, fused with a multimedia backdrop.

These guys may be human but their tricks defy what is possible by the majority. Epic stunts and genuinely impressive.