Trapped is an investment. There is a lot of potential in both the show and the young artists, and without a doubt their stock will keep rising over the next few years. However, for now Trapped is very much in the work-shopping stages, with the young acrobats still learning their craft and the art of performing to a live audience.
There was confident tumbling and a few terrific skill demonstrations, such as the spinning rope, the AcroJam style partner-work, and the poi, which for me was the highlight of the show. Poi, for those new to the term, is a style of movement that involves swinging tethered weights in a variety of rhythmical and geometric patterns. The young man demonstrated great control and truly impressed with his part of the show.
If every segment had been as seamless as this, I would be raving. There were quite a few mistakes, however, which jolted the audience out of their viewing bubble. It felt as though we sat in on a dress rehearsal, not a Fringe show. The strongest parts were the ones solely focused on their bodies, without props and distractions. I think that's what they should hone in on, and less on things like the jump rope which was the weakest skill offered.
Furthermore, I didn't understand the significance of the coloured paints, which were applied by troupe members to those who had completed a number. Was it about earning your stripes? We couldn't be sure, and it distracted rather than added to the show. I think it could've been done better with some explanation, or perhaps not at all.
Having said all that, this show is worth seeing for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because it supports young local artists and fosters the next generation of acrobats and theatre folk. Secondly, because it makes you want to go dig up your old childhood toys, like hula hoops and jump ropes, and revisit those nostalgic summer afternoons that are just perfect at Fringe time.