Fringe World Perth: A Small Space
Fringe World Festival Perth has returned for another year, and with it comes A Small Space. This is a circus show featuring seven acrobatic performers and one musician that is suitable for all audiences.
We weren’t sure what to expect when we arrived. The stage didn’t have an elaborate set. Just mats, lights and props set up to the rear along with the musical gear. As the house lights dropped and the stage lighting came on, the performers took the stage, smiling and encouraging each other. They were dressed comfortably, the women in shorts and crop tops, the men in loose t-shirts and shorts. One performer stepped forward, calling out, “Falling!”, the music fired up and the performance was off and running!
The opening performance is a play on the trust exercise where someone falls and someone catches them. This playfully builds to performers building human towers and falling into one another’s arms.
As each section of the show ends, the performers change the lighting and return to the back of the stage before another steps forward to begin a new part. The percussive electronic music drives the performance, building and waning with the flow of each piece. However, it doesn’t overtake the intimate feel of the show. You can still hear every breath, sigh and giggle from the performers.
The show involves acrobatic tumbles, contortionist-like body twists and more. It’s fun and playful, and the performers are amazing. They must have incredible balance and strength to pull of some of their moves!
Part of A Small Space involved the performers competing against each other. For example, one of the men had a jumping competition to leap from one of his fellow performer’s backs to another performer. With each jump, one of the men lying on the mat would move further away, widening the gap, drawing gasps and applause from the audience.
Similarly, the performers all competed against each other to blow up and twist a balloon behind their backs. The children in the audience were the winners as the performers gifted them their creations.
Another of these competitions involved three male performers in a skipping contest, having to skip faster and faster until one of them trips or gets hit with their rope. The loser having to remove an item of clothing. This is where the show gets is “Medium” rating on the Kleenheat Sizzler Factor. There is a possibility of mild nudity as one performer in our show lost his pants and the others helped him remove them. However, there was nothing a child could see. Just a cheeky bit of bum cheek perhaps, nothing more. I was mildly concerned when I realised where the show was going, but needn’t have worried. It was very discrete and Miss 5 thought it was hilarious.
The show isn’t all competitions though. At one stage the performers pick audience members to help them with a piece of the show. Audience members lie down on the stage together with the performers as one of the women performs amazing acro-balancing on three tiny platforms. She interacts and teases the people on the floor as she works through her balance routine that culminates in her balancing her whole body on one hand. This truly demonstrates the strength and balance of this performer.
More audience participation, for example, involves the two female performers competition to see how long they can hold a man they’ve picked out of the audience. This had audience members cheering and laughing as they struggled to balance and keep holding these tall young men.
The atmosphere of A Small Space is electric and in parts you find yourself holding your breath as you watch. The anticipation was at times too much for Miss 5, especially when the performers made human towers almost touching the ceiling. We did slip out a little early because of this. But we otherwise enjoyed the show.
If you’ve ever watch an acrobatic performance on television and felt wowed or if you’ve have a little gymnast at home, this show is for you. A Small Space definitely brings the wow factor!
A Small Space runs at Fringe World Perth from now until 16 February.
Located within The West Australian Speigeltent in the Woodside Pleasure Garden, Russell Square, James Street, Northbridge.
The duration of the performance is approximately 60 minutes.
Tickets cost between $38.00 to $42.00 (plus booking fee). Book online here.
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