Review: Flip Fabirque’s TRANSIT, Underbelly Festival
I’m very easily impressed with ‘circus’ shows. To see people demonstrate such intricate physical disciplines, skills and talents on stage is awe-inspiring to me. That being said, when watching Flip Fabrique’s new show, I tried to focus more on how the show was put together, without falling into the gobsmacked child-like state every time they did a trick. It was incredibly hard. Transit was one of the most impressive physical performances for me in recent memory.
The Quebec government office came on stage to introduce the trope at the beginning of the show – you can tell the team are loved dearly. The full-house at The Belly Theatre added to the excitement and everyone felt close to the action! Every segment went further in its impressiveness and the audience left the theatre uplifted whilst making sure their hearts were okay after what they’ve just witnessed.
Transit’s cast are charismatic and likeable from the get-go. Some tricks stumbled throughout the performance but that somewhat made the show better – it really showcases how difficult these tricks are and there is a real sense of danger in it all. From throwing their peers across the room, jumping from multiple stories, hula-hoop, trampoline tricks, arial, diablo and more, the show continues to impress. Apart from one off-colour and poorly humoured act involving a fat suit, every sequence went down very well.
One criticism of this incredible show would be its so-called “storyline”. Set in front tall set of moveable metal storage containers and suitcases, I couldn’t quite understand the individual characters, their needs to where they were actually heading. Before most sequences, we were witnesses to acting scenes that seemed a little clunky. As none of the acts had a microphone, they were hard to understand and the stories didn’t seem to link. The show would benefit from scrapping the dialogue completely and perhaps using the background as a theme for their numbers rather than a set for a storyline. Sharper direction would also help with the performance transitions as many of the changes took us out of the mesmerising experience.
But overall, Transit is a fantastic night of impressive routines and a should be a staple for the Underbelly Festival. I hope to see them there more often in the future!
Words: Tomm J Ingram