Pros: Jaw-dropping acrobatics
Cons: Turgid music and relentless po-faces sapped the energy
I went to see My Land on a word-of-mouth recommendation, and I’m really glad I did. The seven performers of Hungarian company Recirquel were awe inspiring. In the opening solo a figure clad in rags floated languidly into a one-armed handstand, then tilted over to one side, his sacrum swinging like a slow-motion pendulum. The skills were consistently breath-taking: an audacious duet by acrobat twins created a beautiful and barely believable image of reflection, as one balanced in a headstand on his brother’s head; there was a rapid juggling face-off, and a dramatically daring solo with a ladder.
The setting was a bleak, sandy desert, beautifully lit, with pounding drums and haunting flute music to evoke a sense of longing for a home far away. But while Recirquel displayed great physical prowess, this show fell into the disappointingly predictable gender trap of featuring a lone woman, whose sole function was to be carried around, looking either sultry or forlorn, occasionally unfolding a leg beside her ear, or inexplicably stroking or kissing male performers. The men, by contrast were in constant aggressive competition with each other. Added to that, the sustained seriousness of the tone, combined with unremittingly solemn music, had the unfortunate effect of flattening the energy, and making the vivacious artists appear portentous. All told, it was a piece in which the performers shone, but the concept let them down.
Created by: Recirquel Company Budapest
Booking link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/my-land
Box office number: 0131 226 0000
Booking until: 26 August 2018