Circus in Hand
Hand made circus puppetry with a human touch
This article is from 2012.
There can’t be many circuses at the Fringe where you can behold a ringmaster standing on a giraffe’s head or a tap-dancing zebra. But then there can’t be many circuses at all where the performers are made from neat slices of stretchy fabric, adorably animated by a team of puppeteers.
Hand Made Theatre’s neon-bright cloth circus also features tiny acrobats, a hula hooper, a snake dancer and lots of bouncing clowns. Perhaps because the stunts aren’t real they don’t have the same wow factor as they would in a conventional big top – it’s not quite so heart-stopping to see a finger puppet put his head in a sock lion’s mouth.
But the puppetry is seriously good, largely down to Hand Made’s observations of circus movement – wobbles included. The posturing strong man is delightfully characterful, you could easily forget the voluptuous acrobat in her silver hoop was made from shiny fabric, and the swinging trapeze artist (a wisp of silver cloth) swirls into balances with remarkable humanity.
Assembly Roxy, 623 3030, until 27 Aug (not 20), 11.50am, £8–£9.