Everything you thought was possible with the human body is upended in one hour in the tense and awe-inspiring A Simple Space. An exhilarating mix of gymnastics, dance and circus skills, a group of eight Australians will terrify and wow you with a mix of impossible-seeming routines.
On the small stage at the Underbelly festival, the show starts with 7 acrobats shouting “falling!”, immediately falling backwards to be caught by their scrambling co-stars. I must admit that at this point, sitting in the chilly tent situated just off the Southbank I was concerned about the quality of the show. Within two minutes of frantic and increasingly intricate falls I felt stupid and couldn’t wait to see what else was to come.
What followed was routines combining humour, immense strength and seemingly impossible stunts. Annalise Moore is the standout, performing many routines solo, but also collaborating with her fellow performers to create stunning sequences. One that made my jaw drop was Moore executing a back flip from one performers shoulders onto another’s. I won’t say any more about the routines as they are too good to be spoiled.
If watching the performers isn’t tense enough, at various points throughout the show, members of the audience are brought onstage to get involved with the routines. You won’t have to perform any of the stunts, but there is a chance you might be slightly humiliated. Let’s just say, despite their size, these performers are stronger than your friendly neighbourhood Dwayne Johnson.
The performances are aided by a fantastic live percussionist, Alex Flood, bringing a pulsating electronic score, heightening the tension and building the atmosphere. Flood has his moment in the sun when he walks out on stage and immediately transforms into a human drum kit. This sequence is very impressive, but also gives the audience time to compose themselves, allowing the acrobatic finale to completely wow.
The show is truly sensational. I didn’t know what to expect going in, but now all I want to do is see what else these performers can accomplish in just A Simple Space.
A Simple Space runs until the 5th of May at the Underbelly Festival. You can get your tickets at: