This is something really quite different, and something I feel quite privileged to have watched. From the moment I took my seat last night, I could instinctively tell that this was going to be a quite incredible and unique experience.

This was Ockham's Razor, a company of aerial circus performers who specialise in bringing this genre of physical performance into a theatre setting and making arresting, engaging and somehow quite beautiful pieces of self-devised original works of, if I have to label it as anything, physical theatre, to life.

Tipping Point is aptly named. The company of five (Nich Galzin, Alex Harvey, Tamzeen Moulding, Telma Pinto and Steve Ryan) superbly work their way through a 70 minute non-stop non-verbal set of routines and games exploring balance and weight using long steel tubes, {I have no idea if they have a real name, but basically that's what they were!} spending much of the time balanced on them and on each other high above the stage floor with no safety net. They follow a very tenuous story of playfully mischievous teasing, showcasing their extraordinary abilities in a very down-to-earth and fun way. These are performers who are at the top of their game, and work so well with and off each other it was truly inspiring.

The stage at the Lowry had been altered beyond recognition. The traditional prosc arch style had been reinvented to make an intimate stage in the round with the audience being within touching distance of both performer and equipment. This is part of the company's ethos. This is a kind of nuts and bolts 'Cirque Du Soleil' without the glitz, glam and frills; and it is far more exhilarating and accessible because of it.

The company also engaged the services of Adem Ilham and Quinto to compose their all-so-important music for this show, and it was just spot on. Modern and yet traditional at one and the same time, theatrical in its building of tension and suspense, and cleverly winding familiar circus tunes into the mix for the funnier and faster moments. The company could not have engaged a better composing team for their work.

Their ending to this performance was one of the most simple and yet compellingly spellbinding and beautiful images I have seen. I stood watching the diminishing circle long after the performers had left the stage. What an absolutely brilliant idea.

I am no lover of circuses, being taken to them as a young child and hating every minute of the experiences - the smell, the clowns, the too loud music, the degrading of animals, and the false smiles all being a small part of my dislike - but if this is modern circus; with a very clever nod towards the genre by painting a circle at the start of the show and presenting everything within it - then I am a convert.

Reviewer: Mark Dee

Reviewed: 14th November 2015