DNA @ Assembly George Square

The Casus Circus ensemble pull off a slick, seamless and jaw-droppingly risky performance

Live Review by Lynn Rusk | 06 Aug 2019
  • Casus Circus: DNA

Australian-based Casus Circus return to the Edinburgh Fringe with their latest project DNA. Through physical theatre and acrobatics, DNA explores the concept of our own uniqueness, and how much of our identity is actually inherited or determined by the choices we make.

Performed by five acrobats and two dancers, this ensemble pulls off a slick, seamless and jaw-droppingly risky performance. Using physical theatre techniques, the performers take you through their own stories relating to discrimination and personal struggle.

Directed by Natano Fa’anana, DNA has the perfect balance of intense and light-hearted moments. We experience a number of chilling scenes reminiscent of the dystopian Gilead from The Handmaid's Tale, in which the performers wear red netted scarves over their heads, exploring the oppressive forces that exist in this world. It is a welcome relief to experience the more humorous moments, such as Sarah MacDougall’s slapstick cabaret scene in which she attempts some difficult and complex aerial stunts wearing a feather boa, ball gown and high heels. 

A highlight is the stunningly beautiful scene between Casus co-founders Jesse Scott and Lachlan McAuley. McAuley’s perfect aerial spins are testament to his passion and commitment to his craft. The pair also perform a mind-blowing aerial stunt in which they are attached to each other with a neck brace – the scene also includes a clever use of a screen to create beautiful shadow imagery.

DNA is a celebration of diversity, culture and sexuality, and this is representated in both the cast and performance. There is such wonderful chemistry and trust amongst the performers, which is essential for the complexity and risk involved in their stunts. 

DNA, Assembly George Square Gardens (Palais Du Variete), until 25 Aug (not 12, 19), 3.15pm, £12-15