FRINGE PHYSICAL THEATRE – Elixir – The Octagon at Gluttony – 4K

scaled_canva-photo-editorAlexander Ewers

Elixir is an energetic and home-grown physical theatre production. A light-hearted acrobatic adventure, it weaves together a diverse display of feats of the physical, all loosely framed around a laboratory based plot centred on the testing of the eponymous performance enhancing elixirs. Headlined by three undeniably talented and enviably muscled men, acts range from aerial exploits of equilibrium to impressive floorwork routines, each exhibiting different combinations of strength and balance. Individual skill and trio teamwork are both given ample room to shine, and each performance is well-supported by a soundtrack ripe with energy and interest.

Elixir, on show in the Octagon at Gluttony, is perhaps not as smoothly polished or as incredulity-provoking as some of its larger scale or more widely travelled circus cousins. In fact, one could probably find an equal to the exploits on display, in any of the other similar shows clamouring for attention this Fringe season. But as a homespun production, it lacks none of the heart or soul requisite for any decent contender in the genre. It is the environment of banter and audience involvement that really brings Elixir to life. The personalities, or perhaps personas, of the three performers is the real gift slowly unwrapped in this show, and these are the source for the more humorous moments. Encouraged by the antics on stage, the crowd plays an important role in the ingredients that make Elixir work, and this dynamic lends an intimacy to the performance that is not often possible in a larger setting.

While playing to themes sensual and sexual, and not without the obligatory touches of boylesque and striptease, Elixir remains a visual spectacle appropriate for all from teenagers and above. Indeed, looking round the packed venue, the most vocal and invested of those present did not satisfy any particular demographic, but truly represented a cross-section of the public.

Elixir is an experience of raw, simple, physical fun, offering little in the realms of the intellectual. But then again, it never assumes to aspire to the cerebral. Elixir is pure entertainment – light-heartedly comedic, visually stimulating and ultimately satisfying.

Kryztoff Rating 4K

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