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Shift – contemporary acrobatics

Amazing feats from the Barely Methodical Troupe at The Old Market, Hove until 2 June.

If you’ve used those stretchy straps in pilates or yoga, or mucked around with an elastic band, you’ll never look at them the same way again after seeing Shift – on at The Old Market, Hove until Sun 2 June.

This edgy acrobatics show from the Barely Methodical Troupe uses stetchy blue bands in all sorts of crazy scenarios from human catapults to cats’ cradles.

There’s plenty to make you gasp from the outset as the four stars stand on each others’ heads, and throw each other around, with and without props.

We’re talking about feats so scary you’re nervous about applauding in the wrong place, lest someone on stage breaks their concentration. And it will defy the level of strength of which you’d think a small woman is physically capable. “Well, that’s a bit of incentive for our next work out,” joked one woman to another after the show.

Shift is also beautifully choreographed and so neat and fluid it seems at times to blend into contemporary dance.

I’d seen Kin before from the same troupe – an almost speechless show. In Shift the performers speak in parts, to themselves and the audience, with a few jokes thrown in, often based on their size differences. Music also changes the pace and mood, ranging from menacing instrumental to Elvis.

Those who’ve seen earlier Barely Methodical shows will remember the giant hoop that gets used as a human gyroscope and I almost cheered as it arrived on stage towards the end of Shift.

This is a contemporary circus show and the themes are at times a little obscure so though it’s nicely timed for half term I’d say it’s probably best suited for over 10s, though anyone 8+ should enjoy the spectacle.

Don’t come expecting clowns and spangly outfits but do expect your jaw to drop.

Shift from the Barely Methodical Troupe is at The Old Market, Hove daily until Sun 2 June. Tickets are £12.

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