Transit

Thu 3rd – Mon 28th August 2017

reviews

Chloe Moloney

at 20:53 on 6th Aug 2017

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‘Transit’ is a six-person acrobatics and circus show by FlipFabrique, a company based in Canada. As the team wait for their delayed AirCanada flight to Québec, they pass the time by casually throwing themselves across the stage and climbing out of luggage and cargo boxes where they had previously remained stuffed like sardines. In between gravity-defying stunts and boggling circus talents, the artists discuss how they would spend their last performance together, dreaming of fast-paced tricks and flying across the space in a fat suit. They then proceed to live out their dream show, the ardour and passion pouring out of every inch of their bodies.

The core strength of these artists is wildly spectacular. This production contains innumerable displays of superhuman strength as they toss each other across vast stretches of space with unbelievable ease, accompanied by pounding drums and a soundtrack that will make your heart skip. What was particularly astounding was how they tipped the only woman of the group off the edges of some cargo, with what seemed like a mere poke. A truly commendable feature of this show is the dynamic between the artists. With five men and only one woman, there are heart-warming scenes of light mockery which are subsequently diminished with the display of her contortionist skills as she weaves in and out of golden hoops. With the spotlight on this mind-blowing woman, the boys sit in the darkness and gawk up at her in awe - as they should.

Not only is this performance physically commendable, but the active nature of ‘Transit’ is intertwined with stories of how the circus affects the artists’ personal lives – whether it be families or romantic relationships. This adds a tender degree of intimacy to a frenetic and hysteric energy. The comedic threads of this performance do not fall flat, with laughter roaring out of the audience and, despite being dressed as a larger man, one artist still manages to grace the air with his limbs regardless of the few extra pounds. Another member dreams of girls throwing their underwear at him during a performance and, as expected, the audience are launched with undergarments just to make his dream come true.

Gymnastics seems to be the predominant artistic skill in this production, but FlipFabrique prove that they are not one-trick ponies. Their circus skills are shown in an attempt to complete fourteen circus acts in a minute and a half which, unsurprisingly, they completed with ease. The inclusion of skipping ropes brings playground antics to a new and dangerous level. The artists skip seamlessly from rope to rope, deftly dancing with a nearly unattainable degree of poise. How they so perfectly manage to integrate laugh-out-loud comedy and intense physical supremacy is beyond belief. The breath-taking performance of ‘Transit’ is utterly awe-inspiring, and without a doubt FlipFabrique’s skills are absolutely unparalleled.

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Ela Portnoy

at 20:55 on 6th Aug 2017

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If you see one show at the fringe, make it this one. A circus show that’s varied and skilfully crafted, 'Transit' is not only impressive, it is also very well put together. The acts are woven with playfulness, an amusing storyline and glimpses into the performer’s lives. The starting act was one of the most impressive. It didn’t use many props, just huge blocks from which the performers did the most amazing physical tricks. The ensemble work was hugely impressive with throws, jumps and balances in which they made the intricate coordination seem easy. The way the set was tailored to the show made for some breath-taking moments. The performers made constant use of the set-blocks – for storage, for climbing on, and for various acts that used height. This aspect of the performance was extremely well done. The set was also woven with ensemble work in ways that played on the banterous, playful relationships among the performers.

It wasn’t perfect. Some of the more delicate partner pieces, especially, were uncoordinated at times, as when some balls were dropped and at the beginning of the diabolos. But not only did the coordination get better as each act progressed, the imperfection was in itself something I liked about the act. The vibe was that of young people trying new things. At one point in the show, each performer fantasises about what they would do if this was their last show. One of them says ‘I would try four diabolos at the same time’ and he does this later on. When his act comes, it seems all the more impressive because this is something he has set himself as a challenge. It’s almost as though the show is part of their training – they are pushing their limits and constantly trying new things.

Having said that, most of the crazy things were impressive because they looked effortless and completely controlled. It was quite unsettling when things didn’t look in control, like when one did aerial tricks with a donut in his mouth, or another hula hooped whilst standing on her partner’s head. But then again, I think this says more about my own worry than about the performers’ abilities! A couple of acts that I want to mention especially are the sweet-catching, the trampolining, and the skipping ropes. These 3 in particular were just enthralling.

The aerial work was gorgeous (even with a fat suit!) and I preferred it much more without the webcam. It was hard to see the camera picture as it wasn’t on a smooth background, and it took the attention away from the actual performer, who was much more impressive to watch than the video. All in all, a masterfully crafted show – seriously impressive and very entertaining!

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