Acrobatic spectacular Flown set for 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe

This article is from 2013


credit: Matilda Temperley

Acrobatic calamity from carefully unprepared circus troupe

When bringing a show to the Fringe, it stands to reason you should probably have an actual show to perform. But for circus company Pirates of the Carabina, it was exactly the opposite starting point that led them to create acrobatic spectacular Flown. Set to feature ‘flying ironing boards’, ‘swinging drum kits’ and ‘disaster’, Flown is the fate of a troupe of musicians, aerialists and wire-walkers, desperately unprepared for their incoming audience.

‘Individually, we’ve performed thousands of shows all over the world,’ says Pirate Gwen Hales, ‘and along with all this experience come fantastic tales of disaster and near-disaster, of when shows only went ahead by the skin of their teeth. We had great fun telling these stories to each other and thinking about how, for circus, the stakes are much higher than for other performance media.’
The Pirates, who take their name from the carabiner metal clips used by aerialists and abseilers, are appearing as part of circus producer Crying Out Loud’s festival programme, which aims to highlight the wealth of circus and circus-crossover work currently being created in the UK.

‘If you think you know what contemporary circus is, think again,’ says Crying Out Loud director, Rachel Clare. ‘UK and European funding has started to support artists to take risks. This is an especially good year for experiencing what’s new in the world of contemporary circus, and Flown is a fine example.’

When it comes to revealing anything more about what to expect from the show, however, Hales is cryptic. ‘We tell some bad jokes. And the show features a miniature horse called China. I can’t tell you any more than that – I’d have to kill you.’

Underbelly Bristo Square, 0844 545 8252, 3–26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 4.20pm, £12.50–£13.50 (£11.50–£12.50). Previews 1–2 Aug, 4.20pm, £10 (£9).

Crying Out Loud presents Flown

  • 3 stars

Pirates of the Carabina. Flying drum kits, levitating ironing boards and swinging divas. Welcome to the world of the unexpected! Irreverent and silly, bold and breathtaking, take flight with Flown for a captivating afternoon at the circus. A stunning troupe of masterful acrobats, aerialists, dancers, musicians and…