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Ukrainians join Czech company to perform at Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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By AFP
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Ukrainian circus performers to take show to Edinburgh Festival
Ukrainian circus performers to take show to Edinburgh Festival   -   Copyright  Credit: AFP

Despite the turmoil at home, for these Ukrainian circus performers, the show must go on. 

After months of uncertainty, they're back on stage, getting one last practice in before the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which opens this week in Scotland.

The troupe is joining Czech performers for a new show called Boom by the Prague-based circus group, Cirk La Putyka. 

Its director, Rosta Novak, said it had been a tough time for Ukrainian artists.

"They are alone, without their parents, in Prague for almost half a year. The second day after the war started, the offer of help was made to the Kyiv Circus Academy by a Czech circus, and we spread the 240 students around Europe."

A helping hand

More than 200 performing artists have fled Ukraine. At the start of the war, circus companies around Europe opened their doors for acrobats, aerialists, jugglers, and other artists. Many had to leave their families behind, and it's their story that has inspired this new show.

"It's a true story about our relationships, about our generation, about what connects us. It's a circus, it's our generation and it's war," said Ukrainian performer, Kayta Smirnova.

The show is about young people between the ages of 14 and 32. It explores how smart technology has changed a generation and questions if young people can live without it. It also shows how technology has helped bring people together during the conflict.

Edinburgh Fringe, the world's largest arts festival, opens on Friday and runs until 29 August.