By: Barely Methodical Troupe
Sat in the Brighton Spiegeltent the audience are looking forward to an, in the round, performance of Bromance; a movement piece first created in 2014 for the Edinburgh Fringe, by the Barely Methodical Troupe, fusing circus skills with the theme of male relationships and the inherent competition and stresses which lies within those friendships .
One by one the three performers, clad in comfy chinos, burgundy tops and blue sneakers, enter the floor, as a conversation about the differences in weak and strong handshakes plays over the sound system. The friends turn the discussion into a physical representation of how they greet themselves, interlinking arms and spinning around each other until tensions are created and one of the squad is temporarily alienated, before being reluctantly welcomed back into the fold .
The groups introduce themselves as Arthur, Adam and Pete and from their interactions it would seem Arthur likes Adam but Adam prefers Pete. Pete is seen as being the weaker member of the friendship group.
The show carries a fantastic soundtrack and song one sees a lot of postering from the boys to establish their place within the group. This section includes some classic circus movement; hand stands, flips and spins, which go down well with the crowd.
In song two they show us some impressive breakdance moves which lights up the audience further.
In-between the musical set pieces, we see the relationship between the boys twist and turn and the power balance shift to and fro. One of the group seems to be more dominant until we find out he has a smaller “manhood” than the others and the dynamic shifts. This is represented on stage by how big or small an origami swan is that they are carrying in a “urinal scene” where the boys jostle to have a look at what each other has got. It is a sequence that results in some of the crowd cheering and jeering, like an expectant hen party.
A jazz fusioned song three shows some incredible work on the cyr wheel, which is is the highlight of the show. Further into the performance we are brought back down to more juvenile themes as the guys strip off to their trunks to do some impressive tumbles.
This is a good show, the performers are clearly very talented, having put many hours of work in to be fabulously skilled. Their exploration of maleness as a theme doesn’t really work. It descends into an examination of boyhood in a child like and childish way . However, it never ceases to amaze what the human body is capable of, and Arthur, Adam and Pete are capable of much; they are great acrobats and genial hosts.
While not quite hitting the heights of top circus performance, the crowd are very appreciative of every tumble and turn and leave satisfied and smiling; this is a sign that this troupe are doing many things right and are entertaining with it.
Reviewed on 5th June