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Review: This Is What We Do For a Living

Boys School, Smock Alley

Tumble Circus’s This Is What We Do For a Living is staged like a comeback concert. Kenneth Fall and Tina Machina have been performing together for 17 years. They have shared beds and bedsits, successes and injuries, and the show is as much about their relationship as it is a showcase for their circus skills. In a series of playful vignettes they negotiate the peaks and troughs of their profession, bring to life the interlopers that threaten their dynamic, and dwell on plans for a mini-acrobat to carry on their legacy, a metaphor – yes! – for their future.

With such an extensive performance history the duo share a shorthand that brings fluidity and surprise to their acrobatic feats: a quick smile and a sudden fall and catch is initiated. They even manage to turn failure into a virtue, improvising missteps into comic routines. The acrobatic repertoire may be limited – juggling, hoops, rope and swing – but there is much more to relish in this charming blend of comedy and circus.

Until Saturday

Sara Keating

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