One Fell Swoop Circus ‘By a Thread’ Review

A rope has a million different uses in everyday life. Perhaps you’ve tied a classic scout knot, made a tyre swing in the backyard, or watched your Dad frantically try to retain the mess on the back of a trailer. Well, forget everything you know about practicality, because in ‘By a Thread’, One Fell Swoop Circus use a rope like you’ve never seen before.

This is the kind of performance that inspires you to go home and reconsider your career choice; but to run from life’s ordeals and become an acrobat is certainly not as breezy as these guys make it look. One step out of line could be critical when you’re up in the air with nothing but your own strength to support you, adding the sense of intensity that left the audience so unsettled, we just couldn’t look away. This made the synchronicity in the movements and overall team work the most commendable part of the show, with so many intricate steps perfectly tailored to suit the mood of each act. There were twirls, flips, dips and lifts, and all with nothing but a single thirty-metre rope and a whole lot of skill. The seven-person cast clearly had a lot of trust in each other, and an admirable bond which is bound to ensure success. The ground work was another exciting aspect of the show. If the cast weren’t trapezing through the air, they were tumbling around on stage, conveniently crossing paths with each other in time for a quick toss in the air or casual duo stunt.

After some delicate and mesmerizing contemporary-style choreography –including a cheeky love story─ came the fun, exhilaration, and often dizziness. The acrobats repeatedly hoisted themselves up and flew through the air with ease, followed by an up-beat soundtrack to emphasize the vigour in the atmosphere. The energy throughout the show made us want swing in and take part, Tarzan style.

What One Fell Swoop Circus created on stage often looked more like a work of art than a circus, and the test of human strength was definitely an anatomy lesson for all. Whilst a little different to the traditional comedic/burlesque circus acts we’ve seen so far, these guys brought something totally new and fresh to the Fringe scene, which somehow fits amidst the weird and wonderful vibe.

Head over to The Peacock at Gluttony to check this one out! Tickets can be purchased online here or from the Box Office.

Image: Adelaide Fringe

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