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Transit review at Assembly Hall, Edinburgh – ‘stupendously impressive’

Emmanuel Burriel in Transit.
Emmanuel Burriel in Transit
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Transit is an acrobatic tour de force that’s signed, sealed and delivered with joyful aplomb by redoubtable young Canadian company Flip FabriQue.

There are feats so fantastic here that it feels like one’s socks are not simply knocked off but flung sky-high – there’s a particularly memorable double diabolo routine in which the whirling plastic cups are caught by and rolled down the performer’s forearm with nonchalant ease.

Despite the fantastic slickness, it’s far more than a simple showboating exercise; Transit delves away from glamorous razzle-dazzle and into the nomadic textures of the troupe’s everyday life as travelling performers. Against a patchwork structure of flight cases, the group evoke the schlepping of sets and kit, airport delays, the boredom, frustrations and disciplined pursuit of perfection underscored by rowdy camaraderie and peculiar intimacy.

Far from being self-indulgent, these meta-theatrical sections have a delightful lightness of touch. As Hugo Ouellet Cote practises his shoulder-wrenching aerial routines, the others tumble across stage, full of noisy brio – Bruno Gagnon chatters like an excitable marmot – leaving Cote dangling upside down in silent annoyance. A rehearsal scene involves snatches of discussion about the demands of family life and retirement. Transit is the whole package: poignant and brilliant.

 

Verdict
Charming, stupendously impressive and intelligent show by young Canadian troupe is pure acrobatic catnip
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