From the very start the high energy of Transit has the audience absolutely spell-bound.
A giant wall of flight cases dominates the stage. A young woman rolls a case out and opens it to reveal five men squished inside. This light slapstick and silliness continues as the six performers of Flip FabriQue from Quebec take the audience on a whistle-stop tour of high circus skills and acrobatic prowess. The flight cases and airline theme is soon left behind but the company transit a vast number of circus skills all delivered with flair and style; from a beautiful synchronised LED juggling piece, and a flying straps routine where the performer is lifted above the crowd to acrobatic tricks performed on a trampoline covered in brightly coloured balls.
We certainly get a strong sense of the company’s friendship and familiarity through practical jokes and tight routines. But as the show progresses a glaring gender divide becomes more defined. The five men boisterously demonstrate incredible abilities including diabolo, acrobatics and juggling yet the lone women works only in hula hoop. My frustration continues to grow as the men’s skills drive testosterone filled competitions and shows of bravado and when given hula hoops, the men parody being sexy, in my mind, undermining the value of that skill.
The cast confess what they would do if this were their last show together. While two of them men would like to do as many skills as possible in a minute and another would like all the ladies in the audience to throw their pants at him, the woman declares that she is pregnant and leaving the company. A confusing twist that further made me question the gender roles being displayed here.
As wonderful as this show may be, it does not offer the gender balance and role models that you can find in other circus shows in the Fringe this year.
My mini-reviewer said ”My favourite bit was the when all the balls fell on the trampoline and then they bounced in them.”