Heroes (3 stars)


credit: Brian Hartley

Scottish companies Room 2 Manoeuvre and All or Nothing fuse dance, physical theatre and aerial in this fun new work about the heroes in our lives

Aerial work has always had a foot in two camps: the fun of circus and the beauty of dance. Nowhere is this more true than in Heroes, a show that has you smiling at its dynamic silliness one minute, swooning at the gorgeous air-born movement the next.

When aerial artist Beverley Grant takes to the air, her body is grace personified – its slightness belying the incredible strength that underpins her movement. And Tony Mills, a performer who has always found a way to inject humour and charm into his work, continues that here with ease.

A routine in which the follow-spot darts around the stage, trying to find Grant and Mills and pin them in place, has younger audience members in peals of laughter. While older viewers will appreciate the aforementioned skill (including some nifty work by Grant on a Cyr wheel), and a few of the musical choices such as The Stranglers' classic, 'No More Heroes'.

It's not entirely clear what this show is trying to say, however, and any reflection on who we deem heroic in today's world is largely lost. But it's always fascinating to see a human counterweight at the side of the stage making the aerial flight happen, and this – coupled with the complex rigging that shapes the stage, aerial apparatus, tiny action figures and genuine sense of fun, ensures a family audience has its attention held throughout.

Reviewed at Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh, Sat 30 Mar.


Dance theatre and contemporary circus about celebrity culture, superheroes and who we look up to.