Contortionist shocks crowds with shoulder trick 141

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by Karrie Gillett

AN escape artist who breaks free from straitjackets and chains has been shocking festival-goers on the Royal Mile – with his warm-up moves.

Contortionist Chris Cross limbers up for his nightly show by rolling his shoulder blade until it dislocates and then pops his scapula bone back into place.

And the 19-year-old performer also uses his arms as a skipping rope to make sure he’s ready for his hour-long escapology show.

Despite causing some of his audience to vomit and faint with the squemish performance, Chris insists the moves do not hurt.

He said: “It really doesn’t hurt at all. Sometimes when I go home at night I might feel a bit of pain but not during the act.

“The only time it hurts is when it comes out unplanned like if I’m bending down to pick up a suitcase and it pops out.

“I think it comes out a different way when it does that.”

Chris – who is enjoying his fourth year at the Fringe – started showing off his flexible movements when he was just 10 years old.

He said: “I was always into magic as a young kid and I started mixing with other magicians and performers.

“I met a contortionist who really helped me with my show when I discovered I could do all this freaky stuff with my arms.

“People generally respond well when they see me throwing my arms over my head or giving a clap with my elbows but I do get some people who throw up.”

And Chris has found other uses for his contortion moves aside from performing.

He explained: “Sometimes I can get myself out of a sticky situation when I’m on my own on a train or something and some people are shouting abuse at me because of my odd appearance.

“I’ll just start throwing my shoulders around and they back off and think I’m cool.”

The freaky act – in which the Newcastle man wriggles his way out of 50 metres of clingfilm – is being staged at the city’s Nicol Edwards bar during the festival.

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