BROMANCE – Underbelly’s Circus Hub, Edinburgh.
“Bromance – noun (informal). 1. A close but non-sexual relationship between two men. Early 21st-century: blend of brother and romance.” The work of Barely Methodical Troupe, Bromance is a beguiling show which explores the boundaries of modern masculinity through circus, dance and humour. But by being a trio rather than a duo, the dynamic between them also ventures into the territory of favouritism, jealousy and one-upmanship.
There is a little bit of speech, but it is their body language that speaks volumes. Whether it’s operating as a unit or expressing a bit of individuality, the choreography is slick and self-assured without straying into arrogance. Throwing and catching each other, they test each other’s trust with pranks, and occasionally, someone’s pride gets bruised. Yet for all their physical banter, there is a real elegance to the show.
A subtle musical score smoothly runs from haunting piano ballad to ambient contemporary, perfectly complimenting the scene. Most of the show is centred around balance-work: beautifully executed displays of strength, control and vulnerability, yet with plenty of close shaves to ramp up the tension. But the piéce de resistance involves one very large hoop, in which they pivot and reel about the space, in ever more technically complex and precarious circles.
Truly breathtaking to watch, and a must-see at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe.
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By Gail Bishop
7th – 29th August 2015
Underbelly Circus Hub, The Meadows, Edinburgh, EH3 9GE.