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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Review: A Simple Space will have you on the edge of your seat

A Simple Space is the circus equivalent of the best acoustic session the music world has to offer.

Stripped (sometimes quite literally) of the artifice that surrounds every production of a certain Quebec circus troupe, Australia’s Gravity & Other Myths rely almost exclusively on their wits and talent as acrobats in a 60-minute show that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Taking its name partly from the intimate performance space that the troupe normally uses, the current version at the York Theatre includes seating on both the stage and in the auditorium. And while there is little doubt that the experience for those on stage will be that much more enjoyable, it was a surprise just how engaging it was for those of us seated in the theatre.

Along with daring feats of strength and agility, there is a vein of humour that runs through A Simple Space that makes it so darn fun. Remember as a kid when you played the “lava game”, trying to move around the living room without touching the floor? This talented group of five men and two women takes that childhood staple to a whole new level. Even the skipping rope gets an acrobatic makeover. Ever tried to solve a Rubik’s Cube? Try doing it while standing on your head.

Accompanied by talented musician Elliot Zoerner, even when not everything works the first time, there is never any disappointment. In fact, this group is so likable that you can’t help but root for them and cheer when they finally nail it.

There is nothing “simple” about what this talented bunch does in A Simple Space, so forget Cirque and consider this family-friendly option that also happens to come with family-friendly prices. And as they throw each other around or balance precariously high above the stage without a net, I dare you not to shed a few tears of absolute joy as you watch.

A Simple Space is on stage at the York Theatre (639 Commercial Dr, Vancouver) until October 24. Visit for tickets and information.

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