There's quite a bit of circus and physical theatre this year at the Fringe, and if you're not sure what to see, Papillon is definitely a good bet. The Octagon brings that wonderful big top feel (with an air-conditioner discreetly blasting away to keep things comfortable) and the Papillon troupe bring the circus, cabaret and burlesque in spades.
There's feats of daring, moments that will make you gasp in shock and awe, and a healthy dose of those gut-wrenching "Is this the night I see someone literally die onstage?" moments that circus is so famous for. You will also scream at least once, guaranteed – a moment I will not spoil (and from which I have not yet recovered) but you will certainly recognize. Wait for the bit where the lights go out.
There's a lovely sense of camraderie between the performers, a sense of closeness and complicity – understandable, given that they've travelled the world together. Perhaps thanks to this practice, it's a very well curated performance – plenty of variety, no act outstaying its welcome, and a polished, effortless finale that was as impressive as it was funny. Go see these daring home-grown heroes before they're off around the world again.