It's a joy to see a show that feels as though it's doing something genuinely new – and Bromance generates exactly that excitement. With skill but also with humour and pathos, young circus trio Barely Methodical Troupe have crafted something fresh, funny and original.
Their genius is to take the trust and intimacy inherent in the high-stakes feats of circus and acrobatics and use it to explore modern male friendships. It starts with a handshake and snakes out into acts that unpack all the uncertainty, bravado and tension in how men relate to each other physically.
Charlie Wheeller, Louis Gift and Beren D'Amico make brilliant use of Beauty, the smaller tent in Underbelly's new Circus Hub, to pace out the shifting dynamics of their onstage personas. This is circus as physical theatre, even silent comedy at times – particularly Wheeller's Chaplin-esque haplessness as he tries to fit in.
From their discrepancies in height to their differing physiques, the three men leave nothing out of their act. The force of their chemistry hits the audience with the same energy used to spring into one another's arms. Sometimes it's hilarious; other times, there's real beauty and vulnerability in their breathtaking acrobatics. Every move tells a story.
Wheeller's use of the Cyr wheel is a show-stopping moment, graceful and poised as he circles the floor in it. But from cheesy dances to backflips, what really makes Bromance extraordinary is how ringingly true it feels. As the three men cling to each other, this is circus with its finger on the pulse of today.