Crying Out Loud @ Summerhall….it’s about time


I am by no means a veteran at the Fringe, however I have in recent years been disappointed by the lack of interesting circus work – so when I discovered Crying Out Loud were bringing a series of work I was immediately excited.

Part of the excitement also came from the connection with Summerhall, which has developed into the hub of interesting performance programming at the Fringe these days.

I booked a ticket for L’après midi d’un foehn. A famous title if you are into French poetry – or ballet. As i read the title images of Nijinski’s ballet flash in front of my eyes, complete with Easter egg green and experimental leotards. However, Company Non Nova’s version 1 of this masterpiece is nothing like Nijinky’s. The performance is in the round and immediately on entering the room I sense the  calm and confident demeanour of the performer. He is our ringmaster. What then unfolds is completely magical. An expression of hard work and sheer genius.

With no words L’après midi.. leaves plenty of space for imagination. Pitched at 5+, the performance made me drift into thoughts about how we make our own lives and how we see the world the way we choose to see it. It made me think about homelessness and unrelatedly about the need for children to see exactly this type of performance. It’s refreshing to see work which does not bombard, but lets children/people dream, explore and imagine whilst at the same time demanding attention, pushing concentration and leaves space for thought.

L’après midi also made me think about how amazing craft is. How Company Non Nova make us feel like they have performed magic, by being exceptionably skilled. It made me think about the circus school of thought of ‘the magic of the circle’ and how the circus and it’s relationship to the circle seems to have lost it’s power in the UK. It was wonderful to be reminded that this relationship is close to sacred – in some circles.

I pondered on the difference in confidence being demonstrated in what we call “European work” – which I never really understood as are part of Europe. I felt in such good hands with this show because it knows it is good.  It doesn’t wait for me to tell it whether it’s good or not. It knows it’s good and it’s up to me to decide whether the goodness is for me, or not.

This isn’t the only show Crying Out Loud are bringing to Summerhall, but it is the only one I have so far seen.

Crying Out Loud are by no means the only people bringing interesting circus work to the Fringe this year, but they are the focal point of this blog.

If you are lucky enough to be around check out the below listings and make your picks:

Company Bal-Jeanne Mordog's La Poeme, photo Camille Sauvage

Image above: Company Bal-Jeanne Mordog’s La Poeme, photo Camille Sauvage

Summerhall 2 – 25 August:

La Poème by Company Bal/Jeanne Mordoj (France) World Premiere

A joyously strange play in which Jeanne Mordoj, cult ventriloquist, juggler and contortionist, delves into her own reflections on femininity.

7:45pm (35 mins) tickets £11 age PG


L’après-midi d’un Foehn – Version 1 by Company Non Nova (France) UK Premiere

A ballet master magically brings to life an airborne troupe of plastic bags. Sit on the stage and watch as the company, released to the air currents, performs to the lilting music of Debussy music.                                                                       

 ”A rare and thought provoking performance” Télérama

2pm & 5pm (25 mins) tickets £10 (concs £7) age 4+


Daydream by Inne Goris and Dominique Pauwels (Belgium)

Housed within a shipping container is a beautiful musical installation in a miniature theatrical space. Come in. Settle down. Close your eyes and listen. Let the music carry you to a thousand different places. Daydream allows each of us to create our own experience. What will yours be?

“This is theatre at its best and purest.” Knack

11am until 11:45pm (15 mins) tickets £3, all ages


Udderbelly 1 – 26 August

Flown Pirates of the Carabina

Flying drum kits, levitating ironing boards and swinging divas. Welcome to the world of the unexpected! Irreverent and silly, bold and breathtaking, take flight with Flown for a captivating afternoon at the circus. Watch the new trailer here.        “exquisite moments of beauty” Guardian

4:20pm (60 mins) tickets £10 (concs £9) age 5+


Other Crying Out Loud events at Summerhall

Circus Post – a series of short films contextualising the development of contemporary circus over the past 40 years, as it has moved away from traditional big tops, and into theatres, and back again, in Europe, the UK and beyond.  On the border between theatre and dance, between tradition and invention, we find something new – contemporary circus. All 15 films made by Crying out Loud with film maker Deborah May will be shown, continuously on a loop.

1 – 26 August, Basement, free


Unpack the Arts – a European project providing residencies for cultural journalists, critics and chief editors from any form of media, in the context of twelve major arts festivals which are programming contemporary circus. The aim being to facilitate the circulation of knowledge and experience, to develop the critical discourses of its participants, and to further the role of the media within the (circus) arts and contemporary society. Crying Out Loud will host Unpack the Arts as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013. Participants only.


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