Tumble Circus: This Is What We Do For a Living, Underbelly, Edinburgh Festival Fringe
In a Belfast bedsit far removed from the sequins and sparkle the untold story of the circus is told. This Is What We Do For a Living tells the tale of lovers, fighters and performing partners Ken, a down-to-earth Belfast boy, and Tina, a flighty Swedish dreamer.
The pair tells their story through hair-raising rope tricks, hypnotic juggling and graceful tumbles – making for a mesmerising double act.
With a plain and simple backdrop Tumble Circus allow their actions to speak for themselves. This is a stripped-back vision of the circus but while the setting and costumes are modest, the moves are truly gripping.
Tina and Ken pull the audience into their 17-year, on-again, off-again relationship, breaking up and making up all in the space of an hour. Even unsuspecting audience members aren’t safe from becoming a part of the pair’s romantic entanglements.
While the show offers no neat happy endings, the final performance is a soaring and touching display of physical talent, genuine humour and deep affection.
The moves are executed beautifully, with simplicity rather than flair. This isn’t a perfectly polished circus act, executed with cold precision, and there is the occasional bump of the head or nudge of the arm to prove it (though whether deliberate or not it’s hard to say).
Instead the show is carried by a genuine warmth and honesty, a celebration of the extraordinary in the most ordinary of circumstances.
This is the circus grown up, a touching interpretation of growing up, growing older, breaking up and coming back together.
Tumble Circus is at the Underbelly, Bristo Square, 3.40pm, until August 27. www.edfringe.comBy Mairi Gordon