Seven acrobats, a length of rope, and some seriously impressive strength. By A Thread is, on the surface, simple and minimalist circus, but don't let that fool you. From the opening sequence where, emerging one by one, the acrobats pull and twirl at the rope in an elegant and beautiful arrangement, only to be interrupted by a tremendous screech as the last flies in Tarzan style, the mixture of grace and chaos that sets By A Thread apart is clear.
Whether the acrobats are throwing themselves around in fast-paced chaotic feats, or mesmerising the audience with beautiful aerials, By A Thread is consistently amazing. Using just the rope and their own bodies as apparatus, the seven make surprisingly inventive use of what could potentially become quite a repetitive gimmick. Somehow, over the hour, their constant climbing, swinging, balance and aerials remain enthralling. The show plays a lot with balance and leverage. In one sequence, they run from one end of the rope to another, yelling cues as they jump and climb with perfect timing: it's sometimes comic, and sometimes thrilling.
The soundtrack adds a lot of style and energy to the show and evokes some often very beautiful scenes. By A Thread demonstrates that you don't need the grand theatrics of many shows to achieve evocative and enthralling circus. This is stylish and mesmerising acrobatics, and well worth seeing this Fringe.