Ben Duke is the director of Barely Methodical Troupe’s Kin, not seen in Edinburgh since 2017 and fresh from a run in London’s West End, BMT return with their biggest show yet, an innovative and exhilarating five-star show about camaraderie now brought to life by a new cast.
KIN, BMT’s second show was co-commissioned by the Roundhouse London and was a sold-out hit at CircusFest 2016. Fooling about with group dynamics KIN follows the shifts, alignments and realignments of groups through high-octane circus skills, incredible feats of strength, hand-to-hand balancing, banquine, teeter board, acrobatics and Cyr wheel routines.
Kin, directed by Ben Duke, is at Assembly Rooms Thursday 4th – Sunday 28th August 2022 (not 10th,15th, 22nd) at 15:00
You’re directing KIN at Assembly Rooms what can you tell us about the show?
KIN is about a family who aren’t an actual family but who are trapped in a situation that forces them into becoming one. It is about power struggles and how they both compete and collaborate in this pressure cooker like situation. But much funnier than that makes it sound.
What was it about Barely Methodical Troupe’s work that made you want to be a part of this production?
I first encountered BMT in Edinburgh in 2015. I’d heard a lot about their first show ‘Bromance’ and so I went to see it at the Circus Hub and thought it was great. I was also performing up there and I think there was a mutual checking out going on as they came to see my show and after that I had a conversation with their Producer who said they were looking for a director for their new show and would I be interested. I of course said yes.
I felt watching Bromance that they were a company that were able to combine their own story and their characters with the tricks and the physical routines. As a result their show didn’t feel episodic, it felt whole, and that as an audience member I went on a kind of theatrical journey with them. This is an idea we’ve carried forward into KIN.
It was last seen in Edinburgh in 2017, have there been any changes for this new run?
No drastic changes but the show has evolved and in my opinion, it is better now than it was in 2017.
What’s the biggest challenge for you as a director with a show like KIN?
Injury! The physical work they do is so extreme that injury rears its head very often and that requires a lot of re-thinking, re-working.
Second to injury, the biggest challenge is combining these jaw dropping skills, which by their very nature bring you into the present, and make you very aware of the risk to life to these actual people, with the idea of a theatrical world.
Why do you think audiences have fallen in love with Barely Methodical Troupe and their work?
I think the company are interested in creating a theatrical, as well as a circus, experience. That is what I think makes them interesting. They have a curiosity about how the audience can have both the wow factor of circus and the emotionally rich experience of theatre.
What would you say to anyone thinking of booking to see KIN?
Just go and see it. Have a look at audience and press responses from the run of KIN at the London International Mime festival in January 2022 if you need more convincing.