BY A THREAD @ Girls School gets 8/10

By a Thread
@ Girls School

Tuesday, January 21, 2020


Seven performance artists, two pulleys, and 30 meters of rope come together to create a 50 minute performance that is a must-see at FRINGE WORLD 2020. Considering it’s their last year, you don’t want to miss out. If you are grappling with potential shows to see this Fringe, put this wonderful production presented by One Fell Swoop Circus in your top five, as it’s a performance that should be seen by all.

By a Thread’s team of seven perform gravity-defying feats of physical and mental strength, suspended only by the security of their trust in the rope, their own ability, and faith in their team. They ascend, unflinching, toward the rope’s great height, descending effortlessly into various poses – foot hangs, back balance, candlestick, and roll up from tourniquet. Transforming classic techniques into exhilarating and innovative routines, this is not your standard ropes performance. They are dauntless, inspiring, and a true delight to witness upon the stage. Each performer’s agility, poise, and incredible strength is a magnificent sight to behold and keeps the audience spellbound. The level of trust the performers have in each other is evident, and they demonstrate the core essence of teamwork so beautifully. As the bodies manoeuvre between the rope, connected always by the single thread whether basing as an anchor or held in an intricate contortion above the stage, a cause-and-effect action is observable and signifies an interconnectedness between us all.

The performance displays a noticeable range of emotions and themes behind each routine. Fear, pain, friendship, interconnectedness, real-life comedy, and a powerful romance are all present within the show. Some routines are unhurried, calling for precision and concentration of the performers as they hold intricate arrangements of one or multiple cast members. Others are quick-paced and performed with vigorous intensity, the talented men and women flying, spinning, flipping, climbing, and pulling. Each routine’s music and lighting is perfectly, perfectly matched, and cannot be faulted.

The pure joy that’s continuously present on the performers’ faces is beautiful. It’s obvious that they genuinely enjoy themselves, and it only makes the audience adore them even more. The performers’ smiles meet their eyes as they soak in their audience, grateful to have someone bear witness to their incredible talents. Occasionally, their facial expressions are not complementary to the routine at the time, but this does not deter from their abilities or performance. These performers are so wholeheartedly invested in their artistry and the audience that came to see them, that as a final touch, we are farewelled by the performers themselves as we leave the hall. Their gratitude is endearing because it’s so completely authentic. Photography is also encouraged, but without flash please, and don’t forget to hashtag #byathread #onefellswoopcircus.

Quick notes on the venue itself. It’s cashless, even the food vendors and bar. Don’t leave your bank card at home in your other purse! (If you do, but you are lucky enough to have cash on you, you can add cash to a cashless card at the main box office). It’s cold outside waiting in line, and also inside the Main Hall, so bring a jacket. The burgers are lit, but the fried ice cream a disappointment. Girls School have gone all out as a venue, creating a colourful, exciting, insta-worthy space for patrons attending shows.


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