Sunday, June 7, 2015

Clink featured acrobatics behind bars at Fringe.

Circus Arts and PB and J Theater Factory of Winter Park collaborated to bring Clink to this year's Orlando International Theater Festival. The program described the show as"a captivating look behind the bars of a most exceptional and enthralling prison.

Brandon Roberts played one of the prison guards. Any time he is in a show, I know that there will be laughs. Acrobats were prisoners. The guards tried to keep chaos to a minimum, but any time they turned their backs the prisoners would express their inner freedom by performing acrobatics. After an impressive display of strength and grace by the acrobats, a prison guard tentatively climbed on a platform to keep a look out. The platform shook every time the guard moved, and it was hilarious how he struggled to stay balanced when prisoners could do somersaults, back flips and amazing aerial feats.

In one of the shows, a male acrobat tore a muscle. The next show had to be canceled. Two stage hands had to step in and perform safer acrobatic moves to fill in for the lost performer. They did an amazing job filling in because I didn't notice that the show had been modified. In a scene where prison guards vaulted over a wall, Brandon flailed his limbs for a laugh as he hurled through space. Perhaps some of that wide eyed fear was legitimate.

Because of the canceled show a fundraiser was set up to help the injured performer's medical expenses. I talked to someone who was in the audience the night of the injury. She said that it was clear that he was in pain but he kept right on performing. The show must go on.  The next morning he had to have surgery to repair a torn pectoral ligament that had pulled from his humerus bone. He is looking at a recovery time of 4-6 months. 


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