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Silver Lining’s Throwback is an aerial and acrobatic circus caper about the power of nostalgia and collective memory. Here’s company founding member Thomas Ball to tell us why, despite innovative directions in the art form, the core of circus is still risk and reward, and the feeling the audience takes away from the big top.

What keeps me excited and engaged in traditional circus is seeing the risk followed by the success and celebration of the incredible feats the acrobats overcome.

I love how live performance is developing. People are throwing strong opinions and life experiences into their work. One day I’d like to do the same - but when I look at what I have to offer now I begin to struggle… I am a white man and I had a very fortunate upbringing and, although I do happen to be homosexual, I’ve been very lucky to have very little ‘hardship’ or ‘struggle’. I have life experiences but nothing even remotely comparable to some of things I read about on a daily basis.

Circus has been changing and developing for years and I think what people have been taking from traditional circus and putting into contemporary work is very interesting. Obviously the physicality has remained - stunning aerial work, dynamic acrobatics, complex juggling, and much more. A huge dance element has also emerged and theatre is used increasingly to make new work a world away from the big top.

What keeps me excited and engaged in traditional circus is seeing the risk followed by the success and celebration of the incredible feats the acrobats overcome.

All of this came together for me when working on Throwback. There’s a clear concept, we’re definitely giving more than just tricks, but the main thing I’d like an audience member to come out of the show with is a feeling of happiness, of having seen something that actually made them feel good.

So I look at what I can offer an audience, right here and right now, and it’s a smile. It’s what I can offer with my whole heart, and I think in the uncertain times that we live in now maybe that is exactly what we all need.

Tom Ball is a circus performer who graduated from the National Centre for Circus Arts in 2013. He specialises in static trapeze, but also performs a number of different disciplines including hula hoop. He likes to combines his circus skills with his acting experience and musical abilities to create something unique. He cofounded Silver Lining in 2012, along with 6 other artists, and continues to run the company, both creatively and logistically, with fellow confounder Niamh O'Reilly.

Throwback plays at Underbelly’s Circus Hub each day this Fringe (not 15th) at 16:30. Full Edinburgh listing: http://www.broadwaybaby.com/shows/silver-lining-jacksons-lane-throwback/714977 Follow Silver Lining @SilverLiningCo_.

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