Knee Deep jumps into a pair of fisherman’s waders and wanders well out beyond the shallows of the physically possible. Full of mind-and-body-bending manoeuvres, three men and a little lady defy gravity and convention to perform the most heroic of moves on the floor and in the air. Using themselves, a trapeze, a series of drapes and a good few dozen eggs, they would have Isaac Newton himself reaching for the rulebook as they spin and twist themselves into the most incredible of configurations.
Their most impressive feat, unsurprisingly, is their physical interaction and the ability to appear as both an obstacle and a utensil in aiding and abetting a fellow performer within the routine. By the end, as each take turn to hang from a trapeze, one person’s dangling body becomes another’s staircase as they use foot, calf, knee, thigh, hip, back, shoulder and head to elevate one above the other. Without hierarchy, each performer supports the other, and though physically small the female performer pulls a lot more than just her own weight when she holds all three of her male colleagues suspended above the stage.
The only critique is that the show lacks theme when it could easily support one larger than just a bunch of circus skills thrown together. The performance has the sensitive core of a piece of art and so I felt disappointed not being able to discern a tangible narrative thread. Still, as a straight exhibition of skill, the control, poise, passion and power of this performance cannot be denied.