Spotlight on...KIN

6 Apr 2017

Ben Duke, director of KIN, the new show from the UK's hottest circus company Barely Methodical Troupe, gives us a taste of what to expect.

Can you tell us what your show is about?

I could if you forced me but words don’t really capture it that accurately. If I had to describe the show in a sentence or be subjected to a thumbscrew I would say- it is about power struggles and family; it is about how we compete and how we collaborate. But much funnier than that makes it sound. ( I would slip that in and make it sound as if it was part of the same sentence)

So much of the experience of watching it is in what happens to you when you see someone flying through the air and your heart climbs into your mouth. It is not a sensation words can re-create.

How and where will the work be staged?

The work will be staged at Brighton Dome on 19 April at 3pm and 7.30pm. The show is then touring and will play for three weeks at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

How will it be staged? The six incredible performers will get up on stage and do all the amazing things they have practiced and possibly some they haven’t. Is that what you meant?

Why should someone come and see your show?

Without knowing what is going on in other people’s lives it is hard to say why they should come but I know that of the people who have come so far the vast majority have loved it and are glad they chose to spend their hard earned money on a ticket.

Where did the idea and inspiration come from?

The starting point was to look at ideas of hierarchy. And as we took that idea into the rehearsal studio it became clear that we were exploring the power struggles that exist in any group of people, particularly groups of people who spend a great deal of time together, like a family or a company.

Why do you think it’s an important story to tell?

I would not describe it as important. But it is relevant and reflects something of how we live - particularly in relation to our obsession with competition and how that is shaped by the time and culture we live in and how in turn it shapes so many of our relationships.

Circus is such an interesting art form in that context because like everyone else circus artists are competitive but so often what they are engaged in is deeply collaborative. It has to be. There are moments in this show when they literally hold each other’s lives in their hands.

What sort of person is going to love this show?

All persons. I have been working with these 6 amazing performers for about 3 months on this show and I have watched them do extraordinary things on a daily basis. As I watch them I am reminded of what people are capable of and how glad I am to be one - I can’t do what they can do but they can do it and as a fellow person I am allowed to share in some of that glory. Like an uncoordinated fan of a brilliant football team. I experience it vicariously. I momentarily fly when they do simply because I am part of the same species.

What’s going to surprise people about this show?

That a circus show can also be theatre. And that you can play Vivaldi on a thumb piano.

KIN is at Brighton Dome on Wed 19 April.