I have had the good fortune to witness many amazing shows at the Fringe; however this display of intense physical strength, hypnotising aerial acrobatics and aesthetically gorgeous body lines has managed to top my list of must-see Fringe shows of 2014. My interest was already been piqued by the time I reached the venue, having been previously informed of the excellence of performer Emma Serjeant’s solo show. They were half an hour late to start, which I would usually condemn, but the sheer exuberance and eclecticism of the show meant that they could have been an hour late and the audience still would have forgiven them.
I have had the good fortune to witness many amazing shows at the Fringe; however this display of intense physical strength, hypnotising aerial acrobatics and aesthetically gorgeous body lines has managed to top my list of must-see Fringe shows of 2014.
I first must applaud the incredible strength of the performers. They seemed to have a weightless quality, almost like they were floating in water, especially during the floor movement and acrobatics that opened the show. The aerial acrobatics saw the artists supporting their entire body weight – and often the weight of others – on such extremities such as one hand, feet or even the head. With these gravity-defying stunts, you could almost see the bodies vibrating with tension whilst suspended in mid-air. At one point, Serjeant physically supported all of her three male performers on her body at one time, an amazing feat for such a tiny lady – although I did get the feeling that she was entirely made out of muscle.
What really made this performance a five star show was the quirky theatricality that contributed to the stunts and movements. This theatricality was heightened by the lovely selection of music, mostly French folky numbers, and the little moments of interaction between the performers which contained delightful frivolity and fun. In one small section of physical humour, performer Jesse Scott created a movement piece centred on an egg. He playfully teased the audience by using his body in tiny and precise ways, to get closer to and further from the egg, creating a strange abstract narrative to his relationship to that inanimate object.
Knee Deep was an astonishing piece of circus mayhem that showcased a varied range of acrobatic skills, from trapeze and aerial silks, to hoop gymnastics and floor work. What really made it stand out as a piece of art was the theatricality and quirky interplay between the performers – the baffling presence of the egg as a performer was an endearing, if abstract touch. The setting of the Spiegeltent – a wonderfully decorated big top with mirrors and booths – really added to the magic of the piece, and so with beers in our hands and smoke billowing out across the auditorium, we sat back to engage in 70 minutes of wonderfully entertaining and thoroughly recommendable physical theatre.