Attached

Sun 6th August 2017

reviews

Kathryn Tann

at 09:48 on 7th Aug 2017

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It doesn’t seem right to describe ‘Attached’ merely as a circus act, because it is both less and more than that. There may not be bright costumes, colourful lights, or indeed any other dazzle-factors, but the endearing duo who bring it to the stage are not just acrobats. They are actors able to capture their audience’s complete attention without the need for spectacle. With a few boxes, some see-saws, and a bit (or rather a lot) of Velcro, Swedish performance pair Magnus Bjøru and Manu Tiger fill the stage with entertainment that, though not jaw-droppingly spectacular, captures the imagination and warms the heart.

The comedy aspect of ‘Attached’ was refreshing because it didn’t involve politics, ridicule or cynicism for a change. It was simple, physical and almost completely unspoken, finding its strength in the brilliant chemistry between Bjøru (big and strong) and Tiger (small and nimble… though pretty strong too). The duo demonstrated perfectly their hilarious ‘attachment’ when they opened the show wearing Velcro suits… you can imagine where that went. The audience were soon welcomed into this charming comedic relationship when handed Velcro balls for good-humoured pelting (this sticky section was definitely a favourite of mine).

The music which played throughout the act had obviously been chosen carefully. A mixture of cheerful and tense, it matched nicely the dynamic and changeable pace of the action. To speak of pace, however, it is should be mentioned that the slower parts of this dynamism could feel a little too slow, with some sections and stunts being far more exciting and heart-fluttering than others.

Nevertheless, having two performers prevented this from being too much of an issue when it came to setting up apparatus, especially as it often involved Tiger being comically picked up and placed, child-like, where he needed to be.

The humour was simple, with little verbal communication, save rather a lot of ‘shoo’ sounds from Bjøru. With just a vibrant glance to one another and synchronised nod of encouragement, Bjøru and Tiger would embark on another unique stunt or trick. It was little gestures such as this which brought every audience member to feel rather attached to these two lovable rogues.

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Noah Lachs

at 10:50 on 7th Aug 2017

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Ever wanted to enter a giant purple cow and watch juggling tricks and teeter stunts? Well if the answer is yes, Attached is the eclectic and original circus medley for you. The show combines acrobatics, mime, and strongman performance. It is also refreshing in its simplicity. There is no glitter, strobe lighting or dubstep. Instead the Manu Tiger and Massimiliano Rossetti wear grey vest tops (which grow a darker shade of grey throughout the performance due to sweat) and the soundtrack constitutes a double-bass playing a catchy run. The minimalist aesthetic also manifests in the props; wooden blocks, a metal seesaw, and all-white juggling balls. The simplicity helps us focus on the performing characters.

Indeed, Manu Tiger and Massimiliano Rossetti are an unlikely duo. The former is nimble and petit; the latter is thickset and brawny. Yet, this discrepancy, as well as providing instant visual comedy, also facilitates the action: Tiger soars and Rossetti catches. The show takes a while to build up to Tiger’s aerial antics, with some unexceptional juggling filling the first quarter of the show. Even after the juggling, once we are onto leaping and flying, one needs patience in order not to grow restless during the setup of new stunts. Stagehands would improve efficiency and reduce the audience’s waiting time between thrills; however, this might detract from the excellent two-man dynamic.

Although the feats are impressive, they are not jaw-dropping. However, this is a circus show worth more than its tricks. The real joy of the Attached is in the chemistry between the two performers. They are totally at ease with each other. Not only does this ensure their execution is mostly seamless, it also exposes the fun they are having performing together, which is truly a joy to watch. Tiger and Rossetti are also exceptional at interacting with the audience. Audience participation—which is apparently a necessity at the Fringe—does not make you cringe in this show. Indeed, audience members are given a lot of power and responsibility. It is fantastic to pelt a Velcro-clad Tiger with tennis balls; whilst the handing of a crowbar to one audience member makes for nervy but exciting viewing. Attached is a show bound to make you smile.

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