PUSH ME, PULL YOU at the Oxford Playhouse


As someone with dreadful coordination and balance, I have always been wildly jealous of anyone with the slightest acrobatic skill. After watching Apocalyptic Circus’s Push Me, Pull You this evening, I really want to be Linn Broden.

Push Me, Pull You is a subtle masterpiece. Linn Broden is the acrobat, Tom Richmond the technician. Their wordless interplay is flawless – he controls the stage on which she performs. Then suddenly, the puppet-master loses control. Their movements fall out of sync and the show comes apart at the seams. It becomes apparent that neither can continue the performance alone. And so they rebuild – putting the stage, and their relationship, back together.

The acrobatics of the show are mesmerising. With a stunning electronic soundtrack from Alex Stoloff, Broden becomes a doll-like figure whose seemingly effortless movements must be controlled by someone else. At other points in the show she is exuberant and fearless – her movements like those of a schoolchild in a playground, being dared to climb a little higher, to swing a little further.

Richardson masterfully manages the stage, and it is fascinating to see the technician’s work which would normally be carefully hidden from the audience’s view.

This is a very unusual show, definitely one to see!  –  @bookingaround  1st October 2013