A SIMPLE SPACE @ De Parel Spiegeltent gets 7.5/10

A Simple Space @
De Parel Spiegeltent
Thursday, January 23, 2020


Gravity and Other Myths presents an hour of defying expectations of what human bodies can do and plays with the idea of risk-taking. Seven acrobats push their physical limits in a stripped back performance, shining light on the raw and imperfect beauty they want to share. Perfection is an unobtainable myth, and A Simple Space really opens the crowd up to the fact that big risks give you the most potential to fail, but they also give you the greatest chance of success. This nail-biting show is a physical demonstration of how nothing is perfect, but there is such beauty in imperfection.

Don’t let the simplicity of the show’s setup fool you. With just a bare stage, stripped back outfits and barely any words from the acrobats, they delve into the complexity of trust, friendship and risk-taking. A mysterious atmosphere is created with low lighting, and then with the simple nod of a head, the show started. Each performer truly shows the beauty in challenging yourself, rather than getting caught up in perfecting a certain move. They wobbled, and grunted when the going got tough, but they did it all with a smile.

The limits of what their bodies are capable of are constantly tested. One female acrobat does the splits on the heads of her show mates, who are also standing on the shoulders of two other fellow performers. Another male acrobat solves a Rubik’s Cube while doing a headstand. They dared to twist the concept of gravity, in often anxiety ridden ways, with the audience gasping in awe. As humans, we do not wish to see people get hurt, even if they are complete strangers. As the show progressed, the audience grew to know more about each performer’s personality which made it all the more terrifying when they were flipping in the air or balancing on each other’s bodies. The risk factor was high, and at any given moment an acrobat could have lost balance while being so high up in the air that they nearly touched the high-rise roof and fallen. Yet the risks they took paid off.

Personality shone through with no words. As they stood in a line, they took turns using one sweat towel. The first person to use it was kind to his teammates and just wiped his forehead, however the next guy had no mercy and decided to wipe their armpit. They had a strong sense of schoolyard competition and the team mates were continuously enduring challenges with one another. Little unspoken acts like this really showed how much of a family they were… good old friendly banter.

There is a section of the show that had all the parents in the room questioning why on earth they thought this would be a good one to bring their children along to. On the FRINGE WORLD website, the sizzle factor is classified as “Medium” and they mention it “Mightn’t be ideal for the little’uns,” however, there were lots of children in the audience. One of the fun competitions they did was a skipping challenge, or should I say ‘stripping’ challenge. Any time they messed up they had to remove an item of clothing, leaving one unfortunate acrobat with only his hands to cover you-know-what. You could imagine the shock on the parents’ faces.

Apart from this, the rest of the show was kid-friendly and engaged the littlies a fair bit. At the end of the show, the acrobats threw colourful balls out into the audience and encouraged everyone to throw them at the stage while they each did handstands. The kids loved it. The show had lots of simple elements, yet they had such a profound impact on the audience. The performers on stage controlled their own lighting and would switch the lights on-and-off at various points to create the mood they wanted to share. The drummer they had set up behind them did a fabulous job and he created suspense, which made the audience feel restless with his ever-increasing tempo.