REVIEW: HAND IN HAND (Circus / Physical Theatre)

Vertical Insanity Circus delivered a youthful take on physical theatre that celebrated the colour, joy, and interdependence of being human.

Hand in Hand featuring Maggie, Taz, Zoe, Alex, Sam, and Tommy. Photo supplied.

Presented by a young company of six performers in their early twenties, the show commenced with the artists gradually filtering onto the thrust stage of the Empyrean. Few words were exchanged except for ‘yes’, ‘no’, and ‘maybe’ as the performers assessed each other’s physical boundaries.

Dressed in white tops, black shorts, and paint for props, each performer marked one another’s white clothing, faces, and arms with their respective colours. The gesture of painting others felt like a representation of humanity’s diversity and how we can leave a mark on the people we encounter.

The entire work was radiant with poetry through the impressive physical feats that the troupe demonstrated.

The concept of trust was the most significant aspect of this performance. I felt sincerely moved as I watched their story unfold and I even smiled with tears in my eyes, witnessing amazing flexibility and impressive core strength exhibited before me.

The eclectic soundtrack was tasteful and memorable making me want to take out my Shazam app to discover new music, but these performers deserved my undivided attention.

There were moments of human error, but their animated faces and breath-taking acts – particularly the aerial and juggling features – made this an excellent show.

I believe they will continue to refine their craft throughout their careers, but for now, I am grateful to have watched their heartwarming display of physical theatre.

The precisely choreographed sequences featuring human pyramids, daring acrobatics, and emotive partner work – at times blindfolded – was evidence of the camaraderie among this company’s members, justifying in every way the name Hand in Hand.

Rating ☆☆☆☆

Reviewed performance: 23 February 2018
Season: 16 – 25 February 2018
Time: 6.50 pm

Venue: Empyrean at Gluttony

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