Five plays I'm really looking forward to (and no the one with Nicole Kidman isn't one of them)
Theatre hottie of the month: April edition

Udderbelly review: Spectular strength and agility in A Simple Space

30_a_simple_spaceTo call A Simple Space an acrobatics show doesn't really do it justice: For sixty minutes I was smiling and agog.

This Australian troop of five men and two women perform a series of spectacular feats some of which you have to see to believe.

Most of it is done without props, using each other for strength, guidance and balance. They fling each other about, are human climbing frames and a shoulder, head, face, foot or hand can all be a useful platform on which to balance. They even jump on each other, sometimes playing a sophisticated and graceful game of moving around without touching the floor.

It is done with a certain amount of humour and playful competitiveness. In between the more physical feats they have little competitions. There's one to see who can hold their breath the longest while one of them stays in a handstand and another which is a bit like strip poker only they compete at skipping rather than cards.

There is some audience participation. If you are sitting on the front row you may get pulled onto the stage but don't worry it's an easy task and you will get a unique view of that piece of the performance.

The audience is also invited to play a game of human ten-pin bowling with rather a lot of plastic balls one of which I accidentally brought home with me - I'm sure they won't miss it.

When they do stumble or slip, and there were only a couple during the show, it doesn't matter because what they are doing is so breathtaking in its strength and precision you wonder there aren't more.

I challenge anyone to sit through A Simple Space and not be even a little bit amazed and a little bit in awe. I left wishing I'd done gymnastics at school or gone to circus school.

You can catch A Simple Space at Udderbelly's purple cow on the South Bank until 24 May. It's unallocated seating and try not to sit on a corner as the lights can occasionally get in the way. The video below is a promo from their stint at the Sydney festival but you'll get the idea.