Deadline at the Fringe’s youngest reviewer, 6-year-old Gus, is out with his Dad Paul (42) to give their say on this years Edinburgh Festival Fringe acts.
AFTER five years of international touring, trials bike legend, YouYube star Danny MacAskill brings his Drop & Roll show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe for the first time.
MacAskill has found a home in the big top on the Meadows with big names of the extreme sports world along for the ride.
In a small arena filled with scaffolding and trusses, Team Drop & Roll: MacAskill, fellow trials star and YouTuber Duncan Shaw, and BMXer Alex Coleman tag in and out of the spotlights miming gentle competitive dares.
The tricks get progressively more complex and intricate, the stunts bigger and more dangerous, children are brought up from the audience, and prizes supplied by the team’s various sponsors are dished out or thrown into the crowd.
In the moment, watching my six-year-old’s amazement I felt happiness.
Gus was witnessing his hero perform classic MacAskill tricks right there in front of us and for that experience I’m genuinely grateful to the production.
We truly loved the show and if I’d written this in that moment I’d have recorded a different opinion. But looking back I feel a little flat.
The trio are marshalled by ring master and extreme sports commentator Henry Jackson, in top hat and tails, he cranks up the crowd demanding greater and louder applause; the fuel on which performance apparently runs.
I appreciate the circus context but the conceit that these professionals can’t or won’t land a trick without our cheers seems misplaced here.
Drop & Roll is undoubtedly impressive, full of technical, daring, genuinely dangerous tricks and stunts that many of the audience will be familiar with from YouYube.
It might be however that this familiarity sparks a slight tinge of disappointment. Danny’s videos always have an epic quality, pitting skill and focus against wide, wild, beautiful and sometimes terrifying landscapes.
This circus tent is a little sad in comparison. These guys are at home taming urban wastelands, rolling at speed along mountain trails or perilously balanced on precipitous rooftop ledges.
There’s a disconnect between the spectacles of the videos we love and this very standard circus tent. A little like those bird of prey enclosures at shopping centres where agility and speed are restrained, tethered to posts behind picket fences.
You can queue for photos at both events.
What the guys do is inspiring. Thousands of hours of determination and experimentation has been invested in pushing the boundaries of what’s possible on two wheels. They’ve built lives around lifelong passions and anyone unsure about chasing dreams can learn powerful lessons from Danny, Duncan and Alex.
The audience loved the show. My son loved the show. I loved seeing Danny and the guys perform up close.
The show’s a must for fans and if you temper your expectations slightly there’s likely no reason to be disappointed.
“He is an epic hero!” – Gus (age 6)
Venue: Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows – The Lafayette
Dates: Aug 9-24
Times: 15:00, 19:00 1 hour
Tickets: £18.50 £16.50
Bookings: Here| Underbelly Box Offices | 0131 510 0395
Age group: 5+