KID_X by Bassline Circus & MHz in association with Feral
Dav Bernard (Co-Director MHz) writes for us today about the history of Bassline Circus and the development of their latest family friendly production KID_X coming to Assembly Roxy Central during this year’s Edinburgh Fringe. In this futuristic boy-meets-girl love story eye popping visuals collide with ground based circus, street dance and live music from MC Eva Lazarus and Mungo’s HiFi. The creators of KID_X describe the journey of bringing the spirit of Bassline Circus’ large scale music festival productions to a theatre setting and give a behind the scenes glimpse into how the piece came into being.
2004: The Road, Bassline Circus’ first touring show lands in the UK.
After years spent roaming and organising free parties all over Europe, a grouping of sound systems have bought a vintage big top and were joined by budding circus performers on a mission to present a new autonomous zone of artistic possibility merging big electronic sounds and the expressive freedom of physical performance amongst the crowd, improvised in the mix.
Bassline Circus becomes a torch bearer for the metamorphosis of the UK festival scene from headliner focused rock stages to the experiential playgrounds that keep amazing us every year. Bassline's formula is simple: the Cabarave is high-octane circus happening all through the night during some of the heaviest DJ sets to be found on site. Attracting highly skilled circus performers with a deep love for bass music and the festival madness, we lure unsuspecting ravers with an explosive music line-up and the eye-popping décor then release superhuman daredevils in sync with the breaks, giving the punters an unforgettable new appreciation for what circus can be. The company has been a regular at events such as Glastonbury and Boomtown ever since, growing and attracting new young performers and connecting with fresh audiences each year.
Then the penny dropped, we had become so good at producing one-off extravaganza for many thousands involving a cast of 30+ performers that we had forgotten how to make a touring show that could connect with our original audience: those longing for something out of the ordinary who can't afford a festival ticket (these aren't cheap these days). MHz company became an offshoot of Bassline Circus armed with the mission of taking such a mini festival on the road…
Fast Forward to March 2018, Newcastle-under-Lyme, birthplace of Philip Astley, inventor of modern circus, on his 250th anniversary and celebration programme. KID_X's development residency is on its way. Our Street-dancer Malick Bright has been excited about having his own trailer for weeks (visions of star treatment from film sets no doubt), whilst globe-trotting vocal sensation Eva Lazarus is meeting the team for the first time, she's not just going to be singing and MC'ing this time, but has to channel a new alter-ego in Dr Lazarus – a famous biotech entrepreneur in our story set 100 years from now ('hey fam': man's an actor!). Unfortunately, our week long rehearsals take place in that vintage Bassline big top and we're at the peak of the “beast from the east” arctic weather front, icicles swing from power cables and the reality of touring circus is becoming more daunting with every session, without our rose-tinted festival goggles on…
But we survived the ordeal, and a few more residencies under our belts and with good advice along the way, our set, story, moves and sounds have become tighter and Dr Lazarus meaner. On the eve of our Glasgow premiere, Eva Lazarus released her new album produced by Mungo's Hifi (Kid_X becomes the unofficial theatrical version of the album) with More Fyah, the title track, made into a retrofuristic video featuring the show's characters. The kids are there too, without fail invading the stage after each show for a dance-off worthy of the maddest summer festivals...feels like the circus is on the road again.
KID X runs at Assembly Roxy between the 20-25 August as part of Made in Scotland 2019. We’ll see you there.