Review: Staged at ZOO Southside
3★★★

There are some very unexpected balancing acts in this show by Circumference – and not all of them happen on the wonderfully wayward slatted platform that’s suspended above the stage.

When the three performers, Aislinn Mulligan, Gemma Palomar and Matt Smith, stand still at specific points on it, the apparatus hangs (more or less!) motionless. But as soon as there’s a shift in this carefully achieved equilibrium, then the whole caboodle starts to pitch, tilt, even upend, and the performers have to cling, clamber and climb over the edge to stop from falling.

They defy this instability with some determined acrobatics: Mulligan and Palomar combine to become each other’s ‘trapeze’, while Smith will go for oddly-angled handstands. The air of brinkmanship extends to moments when Mulligan throws herself off, into the darkness – and hands do reach out and catch her, only to toss her back onto the moving deck.

But then comes a twist which I feel honour bound not to give away – let’s just say that the balance of events alters. The thinking behind Pablo Meneu’s concept – and what challenges it presents the performers with – comes into play. And you find yourself teased into wondering why audiences so enjoy watching others take risks.

Staged, ZOO Southside, 2-25 Aug, 7pm

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