My last visit to this years Norfolk and Norwich Festival was to The Adnams Spiegeltent to see the specially commissioned show SHIFT, by the Barely Methodical Troupe.
SHIFT Explores shifting perceptions and realities through power based acrobatics mixing show-stopping circus tricks with the emotional punch of theatre.
From the instant they stepped on stage there was a childish playfulness in the air. In contrast to other companies I have seen, the performers were not silent. Instead there was a comedic turn to their actions, and a slight background chatter of grunts and “oh sorry’ s” that made the production that much more endearing.
The talent contained in that small space on stage was amazing. They are all each individually very talented at their own special skill, but combined work well together in a way that suggested this show is an older, more practiced production and not the new work it actually is. There was a mixture of dance/acrobatics/breakdancing and something I have learnt is called a Cyr Wheel – Which 11 year old me would have LOVED to try her hand at that’s for sure. There was inventive use of resistance bands to create narrative and patterns in their movement, that were also used as props to enhance and complicate already complicated moves.
The trust they have with each other is very strong. And the trust I had in them, to chose a seat in the front row, was also very strong! I even tweeted post show to promise them I did enjoy the show, as I imagine at points I looked terrified. But I dare you not to be a *little* concerned when there are people flying around very close in front of you!
The varied audience that productions such as these attract reassures me that companies such as Barely Methodical will be around for a very long time. The work that they do will continue to inspire young people to try out new skills too – keeping these skills alive and thriving.
SHIFT was a fun, edge of your seat show that I could easily watch again from the other side of the stage. I recommend the front row, no matter how many times I flinched, as you truly get to see the power and skill behind each movement.
SHIFT was directed by Melissa Ellberger, and starred Louis Gift, Esmeralda Nikolajeff, Elihu Vazquez and Charlie Wheeller.
The show runs through until SUNDAY 27th May so you have some time to catch it. Don’t Miss Out!!
If not – dead on over to their website to see where you can see this fantastic company next!