REVIEW – LIMBO, Edinburgh’s Christmas

*****

Edinburgh’s Christmas has been sparkly and magic many times before — but one thing it has perhaps never been is sexy.

That changes this year with the appearance of the fiery, feisty and flirtatious LIMBO, a physical circus spectacular running in the Paradiso Spiegeltent in St Andrew Square.

Step into the tent and you could be forgiven for thinking you were in Edinburgh in August instead of at Christmas time. LIMBO’s fast-paced energy is the kind of show which Fringe-goers will be familiar with. And indeed, the hand of Underbelly Productions can be seen here, in this joint production with Strut & Fret Production House and Southbank Centre. At the Fringe, LIMBO would be one of those must-see shows — and at Christmas time, with much less in the way of competition, tickets are likely to be hotter than chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

With the action taking place on a central podium, LIMBO dazzles from the outset. Backed by some deliciously addictive live gypsy-techno music, the nine-strong international cast draw gasps from the audience with a filler-free display of physical feats, all performed with a joyous energy which is impossible to resist.

From the eye-watering flexibility of the contortionist to the sultry heat of the fire-eater, LIMBO has a very loose concept of a party taking place somewhere between heaven and hell. Sxip Shirley’s ringmaster is a white-clad combination of St Peter, Einstein and Thomas Dolby, summoning the rest of the performers as they dance, tumble and – in one original and spellbinding sequence – float over the audience. And as sequins sparkle and muscles ripple, LIMBO quickly casts a seductive spell which it maintains for the duration of its 75-minute performance.

With the rest of the shows in the city in December tending towards more traditional, family-friendly fare, LIMBO’s alluring selection box of delights means that this year — whether you’ve been naughty or nice — Edinburgh’s Christmas truly has something for everyone.

LIMBO runs until 4 Jan at St Andrew Square. Times & prices vary.

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