Edinburgh Fringe Festival Review: Bromance at the Assembly Rooms

Bromance, from the Barely Methodical Troupe, breaks down the barriers of what masculinity is in the 21st century.

It follows the path of how male friendship forms, grows and occasionally deteriorates for a host of reasons.

These are not fringe newcomers, having debuted the show here in 2014, but performers Beren D’Amico, Charlie Wheeller and Louis Gift keep proceedings fresh and engaging.

The metaphor for male friendship is strong, woven into striking dance pieces amid comedic interludes and well-paced music. There were the odd words spoken, many pauses and seemingly awkward delays that would tee up the next routine.

There was a childlike tinge to their interactions, from touching pecs to showing off, a hyperbolic representation of masculine interaction wrapped in humour.

After the intimate and aerobic opening act between Louis and Beren, you almost struggled to place Charlie’s role in proceedings.

Then he got to work on his large hula hoop. The item that before had seemed little more than a stage prop Charlie turned it into a work of art. His routine at times appeared ready made for a high-end car advert, but was breathtaking in its patience, ingenuity and raw athleticism.

Again, the trio found a way of weaving humour into the routine, bringing to the fore again the key themes of masculinity, trust, fear and friendship.

These became most obvious when they stripped each other down to their underpants for the final section, diving around the stage in red lycra and, entirely understandably, flexing for all they were worth.

A word on the hulking, 6ft3-plus Louis, towering above his colleagues but somehow moving that huge frame around the stage with astonishing grace, poise and precision.

The star, though, was the diminutive Beren, all rippling muscles and precision leaps from one colleague to the next.

WHERE: The Assembly Rooms

WHEN: Aug 8-11, 13-18, 20-25


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