Climb at the Edmonton Fringe Festival

Photo credit: Abbye Dahl/

Photo credit: Abbye Dahl/

Climb by Esther de Monteflores, Meredith Hambrock and Aaron Read
August 11, 13 – 15, 18, 19, 21 at the Westbury Theatre
More information:

An interview with Meredith Hambrock.

Describe your show in five words. 

Woman performs crazily on rope!

Okay, now that we’re intrigued… what’s the longer description?

CLIMB doesn’t have a traditional plot. The show is a narrative collage; four monologues that highlight moments throughout the lifespan. We start in childhood with a myth about space and time and then reinterpret that myth for adolescence, adulthood and old age with aerial choreography that mirrors the stories. The stories are all very different but are linked thematically. This is not a traditional play, but that’s what I think makes it’s really exciting!

What does the title of your show, CLIMB, signify?

CLIMB is about the evolution of movement throughout the human lifespan, and Esther performs this movement on an aerial rope. When we were developing show, we thought the action of a “climb” was a good metaphor for progress throughout the lifespan and the challenges that accompany that.

What does CLIMB offer to audiences who might be used to seeing more traditional theatre at the Fringe?

We have a woman dangling 15 feet off the ground by one hand! Take that Shakespeare! Truly, we’ve got an incredibly skilled aerialist in Esther de Monteflores. She’s a really exciting contemporary circus artist. Her tricks, her movement, her dance and choreography all have a very unique, personal element. And she performs some really athletic, daring and striking stuff throughout! Even if you don’t like theatre, I think you’ll be excited and inspired by what she can do.

What can audiences expect from the score and monologues in Climb? How are these two elements integrated with the aerialist performance?

As for the score – we really lucked out with Aaron Read. He’s the Musical Director for the hit indie band “How to Dress Well” and his skills really, really shine here. The score is subtle at points, but tracks the evolution of human movement in its own unique way. It functions like a score for a film.

The monologues are performed by five different actors and but if you listen closely, you’ll notice that they’re all connected by different phrases which echo throughout to mirror the fragmented experience of growing up.

The show moves chronologically through four phases of life and Esther mirrors the phases in her choreography. She also interacts with the narrative in ways different and unique to each phase. A narrator, to me, can have so many functions. Think – a teenager and an adult being told what to do react very differently. Esther embodies these differences in her performance.

Anything else you want audiences to know about the show?

Forget what you think you know about circus. CLIMB isn’t a three-ring spectacle with lions and human cannonballs, it’s a study of the human experience. Esther is a highly skilled circus performer who’s been at it for years and she brings a beautiful performance. I think audiences should be prepared to be amazed not by the spectacle of circus, but by the humanity of it.

CLIMB (Deathbench Productions) from esther de monteflores on Vimeo.

The 35th Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival is August 11 – 21. Tickets go on sale August 3 at noon and will be available at

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