Dance, Physical Theatre & Circus review: Paris de Nuit

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Every circus show needs a unique selling point – acrobatics and juggling alone won’t cut it anymore – and for the people of Budapest’s Recirquel Company, it’s sex.

Assembly George Square (Venue 3)

****

Paris de Nuit is so hot and steamy, there’s practically condensation on the walls.

For some, that will be enough – a group of performers clad in black scanty underwear, prowling the stage asking audience members to eat pieces of food off their body, or flexing their muscle-bound chests. Happily, for those who like a bit of skill with their sex, both the men and women get a chance to show off more than their perfectly toned bodies.

Much of this is ubiquitous circus fare: hand-balancing, aerial work on the rope and hoop, but all of it is impressively done and given a jazzy edge. Watching a female performer slowly glide down into the splits on a trapeze, wearing a pair of 4-inch high heels is a particular highlight – as is a gorgeous duet for two male artistes (one wearing enormous heels) on the trapeze. Snaking through each other’s space (no mean feat in those shoes, 20 feet off the ground), the routine ends with a fast neck-spinner that has the crowd in raptures.

One section threatens to upset the skill/sex balance, when a talented male juggler is off-set against a woman doing a strip tease in a bid to get his attention. It diminishes both of them, and is only redeemed by the fact she then goes on to execute a strong aerial routine.

But regardless of what is going down on the main stage, sitting behind them is a superb live jazz band who keep the party atmosphere going with one great number after another.

Until 27 August. Today 8:30pm.