Edinburgh Festivals Magazine

Review: Backbone at Underbelly Bristo Square

Review: Backbone at Underbelly Bristo Square

You could say that Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) is a very down-to-earth outfit … only these Adelaide circus stars spend most of Backbone’s fast and furious 70 minutes either hurtling through the air, balancing on each other’s shoulders, or scaling high-rising human towers. The ‘down-to-earth’ bit comes in how they look and behave: no spangly costumes, just everyday-casual clothes and a briskly focussed mindset.

GOM’s ten acrobats are all thrillingly skilled individuals, but what shines out is the ensemble camraderie that flows through one technically demanding sequence after another. There’s no idle hanging about here: it’s action and reaction at full-tilt with an added push of derring-do – why backflip across the floor when you can do it mid-air, between a couple of two-man towers? The wow! factor simply heads off the Richter Scale and superlatives feel weak at the knees.

Rock arena lighting effects and the two man band – playing live on an impressive variety of instruments – create light and shade as moods shift from larky humour, to dramatic tension, to something touchingly valiant … like persuading us that gravity is a myth.

Backbone, Underbelly Bristo Square, 31 Jul – 26 Aug, 5pm