- Brian Donaldson
- 5 December 2013
A loud, lively and lascivious display of circus talent, backed by a dirty bluegrass-funk band
As far removed as you could possibly get from Bobby Roberts and co, the only animal you’re likely to see in Limbo is inked on to a human shoulder.
A compendium of classic and contemporary circus feats and trickery are thrown our way across 75 minutes of loud, lively and lascivious entertainment.
There may be slight concerns about the show’s pacing (the first half-hour contains a surprising amount of filler) and it takes a while for the first truly arresting sequence to arrive (don’t try that gravity-defying contortion at home) but when the gang gets properly into its stride, the jaw-dropping moments come thick and fast.
Any sense that there might be a narrative thread to follow (possibly about gaining access to heaven or hell) is quickly forgotten in the wake of some sharp Chinese pole work, an anti-striptease routine and some hectic tap. Even the more traditional circus elements (sword-swallowing, fire-gulping, a couple of magical illusions) are enough to keep attention ticking over until the real eye-opening sequences kick in.
All the while, the action is accompanied by a live band cranking out their dirty bluegrass-funk vibe with a variety of brassy and percussive instruments (you half expect Tom Waits to walk on with the ghost of General Tom Thumb at any moment). Personal highlights will vary depending on an individual’s own level of expectation and tolerance of this kind of act. But it’s surely hard to see past the routine where, attached to their own bendy pole (there may be a more technical term), a Limbo trio swing speedily past each other to dip in and out of the crowd, leaving aghast audience-members temporarily without their hat or bag. A show-stopping and (literally) scene-stealing display.
Paradiso Spiegeltent, Edinburgh, until Sat 4 Jan.