Bromance @ The Underbelly Circus Hub on the Meadows (Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015) Review

This is our first venture to the Underbelly Circus Hub, passing weird and wonderful people along the way, such as men on rollerskates wearing nothing but pants, African bongo players and eccentric fire breathers, leaving us slightly unsure as to what to expect from Bromance.

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What follows is what can only be described as a wonderful roller coaster of entrancing and intricate movement, full of meaning and depth. The venue ‘The Beauty‘ is sold out, packed full of eager, expectant and equally unsure faces, including actress Miriam Margolyes.

The show begins with a Voice Over describing the many meanings behind a simple hand shake and the three boys, Charlie Wheeller, Louis Gift and Beren D’Amico, enter the stage acting out the complex variations of this everyday greeting. Their movements, at this point, are simple yet precise, observational and humorous, clean and slick. It is here that I know this is going to be a show like no other. The boys take us on an entrancing journey of ‘Bromance‘, a friendship between three boys. The highs and lows, trials and tribulations and the ever changing balance of whose best friends with who. They use movement, acrobatic skills, Cyr wheel and physical theatre to portray the relationships.

These boys are unbearably talented, not only because of their incredible strength and dexterity, but they are also fantastic actors and manage to sneak in a few comical moments. Two scenes in particular stick out to me; the first consists of Beren and Louis, who perform a physical theatre duet which leaves me in tears. I don’t feel like I am watching a pair of acrobats performing mind blowing tricks (although the moves are out of this world!), I feel like I am witnessing a blossoming relationship transform from moment to moment; playful, loving, touching and, at times, confusing as most relationships are, with an effective musical underscore.

They intersperse extreme physicality, fluidly, creatively and at pace. One extraordinary moment is when the piece draws to a close, there is a simple moment of stillness where the two boys just stand beside each other with only their chests moving in and out, completely in sync with one another. The second scene that stuns me to silence is Charlie with the Cyr wheel. Having seen the German wheel performed before, I think I know what to expect. I am wrong!

Although only 3-5 minutes long with no words and just a large metal wheel, I feel this piece tells a thousand thoughts and feelings.
Bromance is an incredibly beautiful and moving piece of theatre, with three wonderfully talented boys who leave an audience captivated, entranced and excited by their ability to transform a bare stage into a playing field of ‘Lads Lad Lads’, using music, acrobatics, dance and physical theatre. 5/5

Review written by Ben Thornton.

Bromance is currently showing at the Underbelly Circus Hub on the Meadows as part of this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival. For more information on the production, visit here…

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