FRINGEWORLD 2022 | Down Rebound | 4.5 Stars

Review | Laura Money

Meet Simon and Ben. They’re two guys who love to hang out and do acrobatics together. They’re also best friends in complete awe of each other’s talents. Together, they show off their counterpart’s skills with genuine affection and support – it’s more than just physically holding each other up (which they do will great strength) but standing on each other’s shoulders to help them walk taller. It’s also a fun and energetic show filled with great tricks, incredible feats of strength, and brilliant synergy. And did I mention it’s family friendly as well?

Down Rebound is a candid and intimate exploration of the circus genre. It takes the performers’ anxieties, worries, and confidences and weaves them around each of the tricks and skills. Stacked on top of Ben’s shoulders, Simon introduces him with humour, gentle teasing, and humanises his perceived weaknesses. Ben is afraid of injury, or rather concerned that his lifespan as a performer is dwindling. From underneath Simon, Ben introduces his friend – he reveals Simon’s fear that he will not be able to grasp new skills or even upskill and become stagnant. These vulnerabilities are ironically and poignantly expressed while they are both displaying incredible strength and support for one another. This thematic banter continues throughout the show in the form of water breaks where they joke and also get real with each other as if the audience isn’t there.

It turns out that neither performer should worry because they are wonderfully accomplished, phenomenal talents. There are incredible feats of juggling and balance so impressive your jaw will remain firmly planted on the floor for the rest of the show, fantastic handstands that include a lesson in technique, and gravity-defying rope antics. The camaraderie here is inspirational – Simon’s brilliant foray into contemporary circus is buffered by Ben’s hilarious pisstake (painting with a beret) but it’s not rude, there is a lot of love between these two and it’s wonderful to see.

The folks of Down Rebound help each other to do just that – rebound when they’re down. Their open embracing of things going wrong is inspiring, and their honest depiction of circus life only serves to enhance the awe audiences feel watching their amazing skills on show. This show is unmissable, so get yourself out the The Girls School and have a great time with the boys from Down Rebound.

You can catch the boys of Down Rebound at The Girls School until 6th February 2022. TICKETS

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