A single red lamp shade hangs above the stage in Assembly’s Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete. The cast of three men and one woman enters and, as they writhe their bodies together and stretch out for the light, the lamp slowly rises out of reach. What follows is an hour of beautifully realised contemporary circus performance and dance from Casus Circus who return to the Fringe with their award-winning show, Driftwood.

We may all be cast on the ocean of life but Driftwood is rising above the waves.

Driftwood is sensual in its simplicity; the four artistes engage in a playful performance with each routine blending smoothly into the next. The core of the show is the tumbling and acrobalance where we see the limits of human ability stretched and contorted into incredible shapes and forms. The cast playfully move around the small stage and intimately clamber over and under each other as effortlessly as you and I might walk. It’s definitely circus but there’s a clear dance influence on the choreography of movement in the piece and it creates an extremely accessible contemporary circus show.

The balance and poise of the cast is impressive and each performance has that wonderful quality of seeming just difficult enough. You get a real sense that there’s effort in these physical performances and the possibility that it could go wrong brings the audience to the edge of their seats on more than one occasion. A particular highlight is a spectacular balancing feat that has real risk attached and a fantastic aerial hoop routine which thrills.

Driftwood is also a success in its quieter moments; a Samoan dance is performed with grace, beauty and respect, and the audience seem to hold their breath for a perfect second. It’s a beautiful vignette in a perfect show. We may all be cast on the ocean of life but Driftwood is rising above the waves.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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The Blurb

Edinburgh audiences can’t be wrong. 'Casus have taken up permanent residence in the hearts of Fringe goers and rightly so' (Scotsman). Returning with Driftwood, the multi award-winning Australian company Casus Circus aren’t afraid to take risks or embrace the intimacy of human contact. Their choreography is creative and tests the limits of their strength and flexibility, with a few moments of edge-of-your-seat nervousness. 'Breathtaking sounds like a buzzword, so let’s just say I kept forgetting to breathe; eyes wide, mouth agape, in complete awe' ***** (Advertiser, Adelaide Fringe).