Underbelly Circus Hub
Aug 8-26 (17.00)
Well it’s here at last the fringe and Kin was to be my first show! I had previously seen the posters for Kin and was intrigued by the guy in the hoop, who was he was the hoop the whole show was there more than one performer? All would shortly be answered I thought as I took my seat beside the stage with a couple of friends. This was to be not only my first Fringe show this year but also my first acrobatic performance so I had high hopes but didn’t really know what to expect.
The lights dimmed the tent filled with smoke and then out tumbled the performers, they weren’t really in costumes as such and wear wearing what appeared to be plain loose fitting clothing which to be fair would be fitting for an acrobatic performance. The stage was pretty bare and was basically a row of blocks at the back one for each performer and a desk and chair in the other corner suddenly they all climbed on to their plinths and stood posing with their heads held high. Then in strolled the most athletic looking woman I have ever seen in my life, now she looks fit I thought as she strutted about the stage. She started eyeing up the guys and then picked one to perform. You quickly realise that the show is some sort of futuristic selection process for a woman to pick her mate. It is performed with wit and a lot of slapstick and you are drawn to the individual male characters as they endeavour to compete to win the affections of the super fit lady.
Now where was the hoop I wondered that I had admired on the poster, I didn’t have to wait too long probably a third of the way into the show and sure enough they brought out the big hoop. One performer was picked to enter the hoop and show what he had. I was right to been intrigued by the hoop it was a very skilful performance as he duly spun around inside the hoop with an array of special moves with enthralled the crowd. That was impressive I thought but was that it only 5 minutes of actual hooping I hoped not! There were also other tricks performed they brought out a giant seesaw which was used to propel the artists through the air with a great display of various summersaults and twists and turns and It was all delivered at a fast pace with more slapstick thrown in wherever possible which kept the performance both humorous and highly skilful.
Now this was the first night of the show and I am not sure if the actors where suffering a little from nerves or where a little rusty and not quite on point but there were a few of the tricks that weren’t quite delivered correctly with the actors taking what seemed to be quite sore falls. This however actually worked in their favour and the audience empathise with them more when one performer smashed heavily onto the seesaw from a fairly decent height he immediately picked himself back up and carried on like a true professional. That actually got one of the loudest applauses of the night though to be fair there were plenty of moments of spontaneous applause throughout the show. The skill level was generally very high and the tricks where daring.
I also liked the venue itself right in the heart of the meadows the circus hub is located and on a nice day I would be happy to hang out there and catch a few of the shows while grabbing a few pints at the bar. There are two main tents for the performances and we were there to see Kin who were on in the big traditional blue circus tent to the left. Don’t worry when you see the size of the cue the tent was a bit of a Traduce and everyone fitted in no problem. We had arrived late and joined the back of the cue but when they started seating people we were all quickly inside. My only tip would be if you do arrive a little late try and not sit in front of the rigging at the corner of the stage it blocks your view quite a bit and it can be a pain to have to move about in your seat to try and follow the performers as they travel about the stage. Overall though I had a good time and really enjoyed the show it had an ok narrative to go along with the performance. The tricks were very decent and all of the performers where very fit and gave it their all.
Reviewer : Mark Parker