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Edinburgh Fringe: Icarus: A Story of Flight – C eca

Reviewer: Deborah Klayman

[rating: 3.5]

Melding storytelling and circus performances together, Backhand Theatre’s Icarus is a truly unique production. Underpinned by an atmospheric score and effective set, the audience are told the story of what happens to Icarus after the fall and his quest to return to the sky. Gentle and magical, the production has many breathtaking moments and some strong performances.

Falling to earth with a splash and rescued from drowning by Guy (Gavin Maxwell), Icarus (Lewis Davidson) learns his new friend is a man marooned – there is no way off the island they find themselves on. Captivated by the beauty of a fallen star (Hattie Gregory), Icarus decides he must fly again, so with Guy at his side they set off to the land of the Firebird.

Maxwell gives a strong performance as Guy, who longs to fly so that he can finally leave the island and be reunited with his family. Davidson has a real talent when it comes to aerial work, showcasing both his strength and grace,and the duet with Gregory was beautiful and inspiring from both performers.

A young company, Backhand are really trying to produce something wonderful here, and to a large extent they are achieving it. Getting the storytelling and circus elements to mesh together is difficult, and at times the show is a bit slow-moving, but when it works it is truly superb. If they continue to develop the way they have been this will be a company to be reckoned with in the very near future.

Until 27th August

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