Ed Fringe 2019: Bromance at the Assembly Rooms
Bromance is astonishing, not just in its feats of strength and gymnastic ability, but in the irresistible flow of its choreography and the rich subtext of its narrative. This is contemporary dance blended with circus skills, existing in a unique story world and set off by a sterling soundtrack that includes Ennio Morricone. In other words, it’s everything you could want from great theatre.
Barely Methodical Troupe comprises Charlie Wheeller, Louis Gift and Beren D’Amico. Wheeller is master of the Cyr wheel, charting stunning spirographs in the air, spread-eagled like Michelangelo’s Vitruvian Man. Gift is the base, the strong man, providing the foundation for such impossibilities as a three-man standing totem pole. D’Amico is Gift’s hand-to-hand partner, leaping, spinning and climbing with jaw-dropping agility.
There’s lots going on beneath the surface of Bromance. It explores relationships, belonging, masculinity, the politics of the handshake and the awkward intimacy of finding someone else’s hand entwined in your own. When in full flow, the fluidity of the movement is utterly mesmeric, working in rising-falling phrases, with gravity and then against it, bodies swinging like pendulums or flipping like coins. Daredevil tricks make the spectator wince, then immediately laugh in relief. With the merest body language or expression, the boys manage to put across so much humour; these moments give way to others so sublimely beautiful and so loaded with emotion that time seems suspended.
Those looking for circus and spectacle should give Cirque du Soleil a swerve and get a ticket for Barely Methodical Troupe instead; mind-boggling skill meets gorgeous choreography, all presented with a rare honesty and charisma. A Fringe highlight.
Photo: Chris Nash
Bromance is at the Assembly Rooms from 9th until 25th August 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Read more reviews from our Ed Fringe 2019 coverage here.
For further information about Ed Fringe 2019 visit the festival website here.