The Ping-Pong Ball Effect

Upsala Circus have been doing incredible work in St. Petersburg for seventeen years and is currently working with more than ninety vulnerable children and adolescents from the street or in difficult or dangerous situations. This sweet little show based around the unpredictability of the ping-pong ball has bounced around Europe before finally settling at the Fringe.

Go see this show to support the wonderful work of Upsala Circus and to support the cast who will reward you with a delightful show.

A fusion of street dance, mime, circus skills and music, The Ping-Pong Effect features two musicians at its core. With loop pedals, cello, drums and keys they create the soundtrack live adding in vocal sound effects and musical stings. They offer up a lovely opening where the concept of the musical loops is introduced by having audience members provide many of the percussive sounds that play over the first routine. The cast range from early teens to young adult and they burst onto the stage with a mix of breakdance and tumbling before all juggling by bouncing balls off of the floor. It’s a high energy turn after the sedate opening and, although a few balls are dropped, the audience whoop appropriately.

A group drumming session leads nicely into a humorous piece where a cyr wheel is paired off against a hula hoop. It’s an obvious idea for a routine and yet it’s the first time I’ve seen it done in a show. A hairy moment sees the hula hoop launched into the audience but it’s quickly recovered with flair and confidence. After this comes box juggling, a beautiful black box floating routine and a madcap tumbling set before the drums return, and the audience are led in a rhythmic call and answer to round out the show.

The Ping-Pong Ball Effect isn’t the most polished circus show you’ll see at the Fringe but it’s certainly one of the most honest. The cast are giving it their all and are representatives of a life turned around by the power of circus. Go see this show to support the wonderful work of Upsala Circus and to support the cast who will reward you with a delightful show.

Reviews by Frodo Allan

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

The rapscallions and runaways of St Petersburg's legendary Youth Circus make their delightful Fringe debut. Share our smiles and dreams in a spellbinding story for all ages, told with a high-energy fusion of circus skills, modern dance and clowning, and featuring a stunning soundscape of live and electronic music, abstract noises and human voices. At the centre of our imagined universe sits the Ping-Pong Ball, an unpredictable object which evolves an extraordinary identity of its own. With ping-pong balls setting the pace, we can guarantee that every performance will be unique!