FLIP Fabrique: Six° (4 stars)

FLIP Fabrique: Six°

Picture: Emmanuel Burriel

Stylish and intelligent Fringe circus from Quebec's FLIP Fabrique zeroes in on the first giddy flushes of love

Not to be confused with the hit musical about Henry VIII's wives (note the degree sign, top right), this new production from Quebec's FLIP Fabrique sets out to explore the famous 'six degrees of separation' rule, by which we are all, apparently, connected. There are five performers, so it follows that their audience is therefore the sixth connection. It's a neat idea that doesn't really bear fruit in the show, but that doesn't matter: its whimsy contributes to a general air of Québécois philosophy-chic in which the show is draped, where an anonymous narrator talks to the characters in poetic quotes: 'sometimes becoming someone else is the first step to revealing who we are'; 'we know what we are but not what we may be' and so forth.

In other hands this sort of framework could be excruciating, but FLIP Fabrique has the panache and, crucially, the outrageous circus skills, to pull it off with aplomb. Their circus is set in (and sometimes just outside) a drab hotel, where visitors arrive, throughout the decades at exactly 2.51pm, dressed in muted colours, each with their own movement story to tell.

Camille Tremblay dances like a ballerina in a music box on a disc that she controls with the spin of her body; Jamie Adkins demonstrates that circus needs no fancy gizmos or death-defying stunts in one of the piece's most delightful moments, when he plays skilfully with a fork and cherry tomato; and Méliejade Tremblay Bouchard on Cyr wheel is an absolute star. She has a force and an attack to her choreography, taking a circus staple and turning it into something wildly dramatic and moving. An imaginatively conceived set of metaphors for the giddiness and weightlessness of the first flush of love, along with the profound strength needed to cope with its intensity makes for a gorgeous, surprising finish.

FLIP Fabrique: Six°, online at Assembly Showcatcher, until Monday 30 August, £13.