The challenge seems to get harder each year to find ways to present shows built around circus acrobatics that sets them apart from the many other similarly themed shows that inhabit the pages of the Fringe festival catalogue in large numbers.

The Black Blues Brothers presents its acrobatic set pieces within the setting of a small bar, or cafe, where the performers are all trying to outdo each other in shows of male posturing and feats of strength. What ensues is a highly physical, and at times quite dazzling, exhibition of strength and energy that had the crowd gasping with delight throughout.

The five performers make these feats of strength look easy as they smile their way through each routine, all set to the soul music soundtrack that accompanied the classic Blues Brothers movie – which is the the only real point of comparison with the original film, apart from a brief few minutes at the beginning of the show where Jake and Elwood styled suits, sunglasses and headwear are worn for comic effect.

Whilst there were plenty of flips and tumbles, as well as numerous feats of high altitude balancing which seemingly defied the laws of physics, the ensemble’s skipping rope routine stood out as the best moment for me. Without giving too much away, let’s just say that the core strength needed to perform some of the skipping variations performed during this section must have taken decades to achieve. It was simply unbelievable.

The show has many moments of appealing humour, although little of it is in the way of dialogue, and the moments of direct audience involvement are handled well and designed not to embarrass the chosen participants.

The Black Blues Brothers is a family friendly show, which redefines the usual circus production approach and provides an hour of jaw dropping physicality that is sure to impress even the most experienced Fringe goer who may think they have already seen it all!

By: Ken Grady

Rating:   4 stars

The Black Blues Brothers, presented by Circo E Dintorni, is being performed at The Cornucopia at Gluttony from 18 to 23 February; 25 February to 1 March; 3 March to 8 March, and 10 March to 14 March at 9:30pm. Sunday 15 March show starts at 8:00pm. Afternoon shows on Sundays 1, 8 & 15 March and on Monday 9 March start at 4:30pm.

Tickets available here: Black Blues Brothers