Still in their infancy as a company (formed in January 2011), PaperDolls are ferociously determined. This is nicely reflected in the Spartan monochrome costumes worn by the performers and the utilitarian surroundings of D-Light studios, giving the cast the air of a pack of hungry wolves, lean and hard.
The show is billed as ‘an experiment in risk’ and it certainly is that. Some performers have their upper torsos (arms included) bound in rope, before engaging in complex, ground-based and aerial, acrobatic sequences. A highlight is the opening section in which three performers swing from trapeze in complementary rhythms with the razor-sharp precision of metronomes.
Although there’s a hint of naïve melodrama about the whole thing, created by the choice of live, heavy metal music from band Wolfbait, and lurid scenes of performers hanging prone from ropes, hoops, and trapeze as though on meat hooks, Constellations is still a staggering piece of work, with some impressively bold choreographic choices and intelligent, deft, and graceful acrobatic performances. Not for the faint-hearted, but certainly a Fringe highlight.
Star rating: ★★★★