Wednesday 11 June 2014

A Simple Space @ The Udderbelly Festival

The Udderbelly Festival at Southbank really is a little slice of Edinburgh in London.  And just like at the Fringe Festival, it’s an opportunity to see something a little different, something you wouldn’t normally see in a theatre space, something like A Simple Space.

Gravity & Other Myths are a young troupe of acrobats from Australia with extraordinary skill.  Since forming in 2009 they have performed and won awards across the globe and now bring their performance to London for the first time.

As the title suggests, the show takes place in a blank space with only simple lighting to highlight each feat of the human body.  Nothing more is needed to dazzle the audience besides their incredible strength, impressive flexibility, amazing agility and utter bravery.  The performers really do push themselves to their physical limits, using minimal apparatus as well as their bodies: the two girls traverse the stage by only setting foot on the men who align themselves in increasingly elaborate positions; the performers flip and throw themselves around the space with seemingly reckless abandon; they stand three people tall on each other’s heads; one performer solves a Rubik’s cube whilst balancing upside down on his head; and much more.  It’s as unbelievable as you can imagine, all performed to the rhythmic propulsions of a live drummer.

With no narrative as such, this is a performance of pure skill.  Yet the seven performers create an air of honesty and amusement that permeates the whole show, each ‘scene’ performed with a knowing wink to the audience, daring us to even imagine what they’ll do next.  The audience’s constant gasps of disbelief add an extra layer to the show’s soundtrack, alongside grunts and heavy breathing from the performers under the physical strains of the act.  It makes for a show that’s as erotic as it is entertaining, exhausting for audience and performers alike.

A Simple Space is an amazing display of acrobatic skill – whether you’re in London or are visiting Edinburgh for the Fringe Festival this year, this is a must-see.


Watch: A Simple Space runs at the Udderbelly Festival, Southbank until 6th July before moving up to Edinburgh.