Edinburgh Festival 97 / On the Fringe

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Theatre

Acrobat

Boy, it makes you wish you'd stuck with the gymnastics at school - not only does this Australian troupe's whirlwind of gravity-defying physical stunts make a stupendously thrilling spectacle, it also looks like amazing fun. Bounding on the Assembly Rooms stage to start catapulting each other off a large see-saw - bodies soaring 20 or 30 feet in the air, somersaults piked and doubled and twisted every which way, so cleanly graceful it could almost have been slow -motion - the six performers kept the adrenalin count jammed to the max. Variously clad in grubby underwear and kinky bedroom gear, Acrobat garnish their dizzying physical prowess with an Archaos-esque punk attitude, a manic sense of theatre and the odd touch of S&M: it's a sensational combination.

Sue Wilson

The MC of a Striptease Act Doesn't Give Up

No, but this critic nearly did. When Andrea, the last classical striptease act, fails to show up, the lone MC - "Every absence requires another word" - splices patter with intimate personal confessions to give us an improvised psychological dance of the seven wails in a production that is entertaining, moving and infuriating in equal measure.

Patrick Driver's performance laces the MC's decadence with enough honesty to make some "Big Ideas" palatable. Musings on the paradoxical nature of classical striptease and the art's descent into red-light tawdriness frame eloquent discussions on the flirtatious nature of language, personal relationships and "revelation" in all its forms. Ends tomorrow, The Gilded Balloon (0131-226 2151) Mike Higgins

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