Mudfire (3 stars)

This article is from 2008.

Awe inspiring spectacle on stilts

I picked the wrong day to go and see US acrobatic company Carpetbag Brigade's two Fringe offerings. After 48 hours of rain their outdoor performance space at Sweet ECA had turned swamp and the company was making do with a hastily-converted studio space. It's a testament to their skill, creativity and sheer expertise that both productions are still able to impress this much.

Covered in intricately patterned body paint and ragged costumes, the Carpetbag Brigade creates acrobatic, butoh-inflected dance works on stilts. They've realised that the huge, otherworldliness of a 9ft human figure works best with grand, mythical contexts and created wordless stories to suit their skills. Mudfire, is reminiscent of the creation myths of tribal people, as an earth-rooted Beast and an elevated Wind God battle three impish Fire demons. The dexterity and feats of acrobatics are amazing, but the material is stretched and feels overlong even at 45 minutes.

See also The Vanishing Point.

Mudfire, Sweet ECA, 0870 241 0136, until 24 Aug (not 18 & 19), 5.30pm (Mudfire) and 8pm (Vanishing Point), £8.50–£9 (£7.50–£8).


  • 3 stars

Acrobatic dance on stilts from brilliant US company The Carpetbag Brigade, depicting a primal fight between the gods of earth, wind and fire. The material is slightly stretched and the piece feels overlong - check out the superior 'The Vanishing Point', in the same venue and by the same company. 'Part of the Edinburgh…

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