Black Blues Brothers have quickly gained the reputation as one of the go-to circus-based acts on the Fringe, and, after witnessing this spectacle, it’s not hard to see why.
Once they start the acrobatics, this is a full-on thrill ride
Despite a very slow first five minutes, in which the performers wander aimlessly around the stage undertaking mundane tasks and interacting vaguely with each other, once they start the acrobatics, this is a full-on thrill ride. The five superstars all deliver a phenomenal range of tumbles, balances, gymnastics and exhibitions of strength, set to the epic Blues Brothers soundtrack.
The breadth and quality of their acrobatics and the props used are truly breathtaking. Real highlights include their skipping rope routine and a high seat balance that will have the most relaxed of audience sitting on the edge of their own. Their limbo routine is also excellent - an audience-involving staple that is often overdrawn, but here, played for optimal fun and duration.
Where the show loses pace is during the non-physical sections, where the group aim for laughs through silent physical comedy – an area where further development in writing and performance is required, especially in the precious last five minutes. They could also do with working on some kind of narrative - or at the very least, context - to support the overarching theme, as it currently amounts to a series of disjointed sketches that appear as if they’re meant to be connected. It would also be of value if the Brothers had some kind of interpersonal dynamic or individual characteristics, as they currently function as indistinguishable carbon copies.
If you’re after a stunning circus show suitable for the family and equally enjoyable for adults, this is a great shout. With stunning set pieces and inch-perfect choreography, plus some truly epic shadows on the wings during the more ceiling-bound routines, you really can’t go wrong with Black Blues Brothers.