Driftwood

With the ascendance of circus being one of the great success stories of the Fringe in the past few years, there is no shortage of breathtaking physical feats taking place all over the city. Few, however, are quite as accomplished or as joyful as Driftwood by Australian company Casus, who seem to have made a pact with the laws of physics to give them a free pass. Balancing and throwing each other around with with the kind of intimacy and trust that only develops with many years of affiliation, the hour leaves one breathless and transfixed.

All carried out with a kind experimental and playful edge, as if these immensely experienced performers are discovering their talents afresh in every show

Many circus staples are on offer: trapeze-work, danglings hoops and a quite gorgeous rope routine to finish of the show and yet these are all carried out with a kind experimental and playful edge, as if these immensely experienced performers are discovering their talents afresh in every show. They find novel ways of exploiting their apparatus: at one point a glorious, tranquil encounter takes place within a trapeze. The loving sense of cooperation also plays out, visible in the performers’ gazes, ostensibly awe-struck, as their companions perform their death-defying feats. Further, an affection for patterns and symmetry is also eviden: one of the most moving moments involves constructing a moving half-wheel out of the bodies of these supremely flexible performers.

The performers bring a variety of individual talents into play as well. From Natano Fa'anana’s grounded Somoan dance talents to Kali Retallack’s almost impossible bendiness, the dialogue between the elements of earth and air is majestic. There are also a few playful middle fingers to the gender-binary. The men appear in skirts and rather elaborate corsets and the women effortlessly lift their male counterparts. Moreover, there is a certain generous ambiguity: it is up to us to decide what the playful glances and childish dynamics between the performers signify and a red lampshade that fascinates several of the performers is equally left to our imagination. One might quibble with the music choice - cover versions of Gotye and slightly schlocky circus fare seem out of place. However, this is essential viewing for circus fans.

Reviews by Joe Spence

Pilgrim

The Harry and Chris Show

★★★★
Assembly George Square Gardens

Driftwood

★★★★
Underbelly, Cowgate

Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat

★★★★
Traverse Theatre

Daffodils (A Play With Songs)

★★★
Just the Tonic at The Mash House

Naz Osmanoglu: Exposure

★★★★

Performances

Location

The Blurb

As we drift along the current of life we are shaped by the humans we encounter. In this colourful and turbulent concoction of pure joy and intimacy, watch Casus bring a blank canvas to life and reveal our innate need for human contact. This is a circus show that does not let you forget that to feel is to be human and in a moment of danger, a grasping hold is survival. The unique acrobatic shapes signature to Casus abound in this journey of explosive encounters, hidden looks and humorous discoveries. Accompany Casus as we surge forward... together.