Dance, Physical Theatre and Circus

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  • Underbelly, Bristo Square - McEwan Hall
  • 17:00
  • Aug 17-18, 20-26
  • 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Suitability: 8+
  • Country: Australia
  • Group: Underbelly and Gravity & Other Myths
  • Warnings and additional info: Please note that this is a reserved seating venue, you will automatically be assigned seats. If you have a question about the seats you were assigned, please contact the box office you purchased your tickets through.
  • Accessibility:
    Hearing not needed
    May not apply to all performances. You'll find more information about accessibile performances and how to book tickets in the accessibility tab below.
  • Babes in arms policy: Babies do not require a ticket
  • Policy applies to: Children under 2 years
Dates, Times and Prices


A high-octane spree of physical virtuosity, Backbone tests the limits of strength: physical, emotional, individual and collective. Staged with a deceptively DIY aesthetic and dispensing of trickery and distraction, this is circus that goes straight for the jugular and leaves no viewer unmoved. Backbone is the culmination of all that's gone before: a celebration of human connectedness and the meaning of strength, its athletic appeal is run through with a conceptual brilliance that elevates it to a new level. Sexy, sincere, raw yet disciplined, Backbone is proof you can't do the impossible without spending a little sweat.

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General venue access

  • Hearing not needed
  • Accessible entry: Information not supplied
  • Wheelchair access type: Level Access

  • Stairs: Information not supplied

Each venue can contain several space with different accessibly information. Visit the venue page for full venue accessibility info

How and when to make an access booking

Our access tickets service is available to anyone who:

  • Would like to book specific accessibility services, e.g. a hearing loop, audio description headsets, captioning units, seating in relation to the location of the BSL interpreter
  • Requires extra assistance when at a venue
  • Has specific seating requirements
  • Is a wheelchair user
  • Requires a complimentary personal assistant ticket to attend a performance

Nigel Morris about 6 hours ago

In my view this is the best physical show this year. Awesome

Janyce Graham 1 day ago

Simply amazing on so many levels. This was the second time of seeing Gravity & Other Myths and loved every minute of it. The skill level of the perfomers is superb as is the music and lighting. Probably not the best show for younger children.

Ronnie Motherwell 1 day ago

One of the best things I have seen at the Festival, don’t hesitate, go and see it

Erica Stott 1 day ago

Spectacular, breathtaking and by far the best show we have seen at the Fringe this year ( and we’ve seen 39 so far!)

Elaine Butterfield 1 day ago

fan-bloody-tastic - energy, skill, power, amazing trust and communication - brilliant show

Helen Money-Kyrle 3 days ago

DON’T try this at home. DO watch this at the McEwan Hall!

C Cowe 3 days ago

That was amazing, sometimes too many things going on to focus. But by far the best acrobats I have seen this fringe. Watch out for the male tumbler he is phenomenal. No real narrative or story but who cares when they have springs for legs

Lynn Tennent 5 days ago

Wow just wow! A modern acrobatic performance. I was truly amazed at the performers strength and skills. This is a must see show.

Maree Perkins 5 days ago

This was my surprise show of the fringe, it was truly spectacular! An absolute must-see for anyone this year, absolutely flawless and the energy the performers bring to the stage is incredible. A truly immersive and beautiful spectacle, well worth the money!

Suitcase Monkey 6 days ago

GO SEE THIS! It’s as good as anything Cirque have done and it’s a lot less money! Some humour thrown in but it’s a spectacle that makes you hold your breath at times! Amazing!

Derek 6 days ago

Fantastic show, these performers are truly talented. I was kept interested throughout the entire show with their daring acts and unique use of props. There were also a few moments of comic relief thrown in for good measure. Accessible to anyone.

Michael Greenberg 6 days ago

The show was fantastic! Elegant, innovative, suspenseful, and delightfully chaotic. Truly spectacular. I wish the company had more shows at the Fringe to see.

Chris Haworth 7 days ago

Unbelievable show - utterly mesmerising, breath-taking and emotional. Fabulous physicality coupled with a spectacular light show and wonderful music. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!!!

Sam Higgs 7 days ago

This was incredible! Lighting, music, choreography, intelligence, strength all thoroughly thought through in one jaw dropping performance. Hands down the best show I saw at the Fringe this year.

Jess 8 days ago

This show is unreal! Literally amazing athleticism and creativity from the performers and brilliant musical accompaniment (featuring a 5 string electric viola - yes please!). Highly recommended.

Inson 9 days ago

Great show, physical, interesting, daring. We all enjoyed it, including my teenage children.

Susan Wendy Pritchard 9 days ago

A brilliant show - they had a very well deserved standing ovation at the end. The level of physical skill, the intricacy of the movements and the imagination behind the various scenes all were phenomenal. Do go and see this show!

Jade Rogers 11 days ago

Absolutely amazing. I've seen GOM three times now (Backbone twice and another show) and look forward to seeing them again!
Incredible choreography, acrobatics, and spot on with the music, lighting, atmosphere. If you only see one thing this Fringe, I would recommend this.

Susannah Mears 12 days ago

Absolutely A-MAZE-ING!! Incredible feats of strength and stability displayed in a sensual,spiritual,therapeutic,outlandish but fun of our top three shows out of 25 we've seen so far! Thank you Backbone!

Bakré 12 days ago

Fantastic Company & Show. A must see anytime you can with these guys! Well crafted, amazing skill, awesome live music, good sense of humour, an all around good times to be had show.

Emma de Loseby 13 days ago

Absolutely spectacular. Never seen before moves and super original choreography with fantastic live music. Don't miss this this asounding show. Audience gave a standing ovation, many of whom were in tears, overcome with the sheer awesomeness.

Elfreda Tealby-Watson 13 days ago

Jaw dropping athleticism. This is an extraordinary combination of dance, acrobatics and even human. Great music. Cannot recommend highly enough as sheer spectacle.

Fabian Galama 14 days ago

This year I started the festival with Backbone and what a good start it was.
This is a solid group of equally gifted, sculpted and sexy acrobats that give a well choreographed and stunning performance, almost too perfect as all went so smoothly. You get a lot of value for your money.
Perhaps this convivial show could use some ‘stars’ although the modest guy that does endless somersaults and the fierce brunette that does crazy three storey high back arches, come to mind. The musicians are brilliant and the sound quality is great. To my taste, sometimes the music goes too literally along with the dynamic of the performers, the beautiful sticks in the air scene could use some contrast. Apart from a superflous scene with stones in a net this is a full on entertaining show for anyone to enjoy.
A huge complement to the light designer that made a memorable mark on this show.

J Clark 16 days ago

Great show full of energy and daring. Really liked the staging, although some of the sections perhaps went on a bit. Would highly recommend this show though.

Lucy 16 days ago

Five Stars. Went to see this today with my parents and 8 yr old son after seeing it advertised on Facebook. It was really fantastic. The group were amazing and I cant imagine there is anyone that wouldn't enjoy this - my Dad - 80 and my son - 8 both thought the show was fab. My son said he would give them 100 stars out of 5!

Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Edinburgh Festivals Magazine (5/5 stars) 1 day ago

You could say that Gravity & Other Myths (GOM) is a very down-to-earth outfit … only these Adelaide circus stars spend most of Backbone’s fast and furious 70 minutes either hurtling through the air, balancing on each other’s shoulders, or scaling hig...

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The Scotsman (4/5 stars) 3 days ago

If Backbone was 50 minutes, rather than 70 minutes, long it would be a five-star triumph....

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Broadway Baby (5/5 stars) 6 days ago

Seeing circus never gets old – there’s always something magical about watching human beings doing things you can barely imagine with their bodies. But after a while, it starts being rare to see something done you’ve never seen before. If it’s that novelty you’re seeking, Backbone is the circus for...

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The List (4/5 stars) 8 days ago

Stunning synchronised tumbling from Australia...

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Miro Magazine (5/5 stars) 8 days ago

“Jesus Christ”, breathes an audience member to the left. One hand covers his mouth, the other is poised at his brow. Together, the audience teeter on the edges of their seats, barely breathing as they watch the impossible unfold. It is clear that the Australian circus troupe, Gravity and Other Myths, are not bound by mere rudimentary law. In Backbone, they seek to drive the physical body to its absolute limit and exercise a mental agility to match.

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ThreeWeeks (5/5 stars) 8 days ago

One by one the performers lie down on the stage as the audience files in, and I begin to lose track of how many there are. Then suddenly, everything bursts into life for just over an hour of virtually non-stop action. Eventually, I get it right – there are ten...

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Whats On Stage (4/5 stars) 12 days ago

There's something quite epic about watching circus within the stupidly massive walls of McEwan Hall, especially for a festival known for its ad-hoc performance spaces normally erected inside student canteens or gyms. Eschewing both Underbelly's purpose-built Circus Hub out on the meadows and any traditional categorisation, Australian theatre company Gravity...

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The Wee Review (4/5 stars) 13 days ago

Backbone is a show with a budget. Occupying the Underbelly in Bristo Square (the McEwan Hall to Edinburgh residents) for the next three weeks, featuring ten performers, two musicians and a lighting plot that would be more at home in a pop concert, this is the kind of circus you don’t often...

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Broadway World (4/5 stars) 13 days ago

A cast of 12 stunning demi-gods, with a love of stones much like Makka Pakka (see In the Night Garden on CBeebies) and a need to be at one with mystical gravel, begin to empty buckets of said gravel, which is then strewn across the stage utterly gloriously, creating a...

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One4Review (3/5 stars) 14 days ago

Backbone has an almost childlike quality to it, as if you’ve been left to watch children play, it just happens that these children are highly trained professional circus performers, they tease and slap each other, play immature games that end … Read More ...

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

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Participants - for further details on our audience and published review policies, including how to add or opt out of reviews, please click here.

Dates, Times and Prices