ON the busy streets of Edinburgh during the Festival Fringe, a lot of people can feel as if they can take a breath when they finally get seated in their venue, knowing that whatever the show has in store, it’s probably going to feel that wee bit calmer than the hustle and bustle of the Royal Mile.

But Boom is an absolute bundle of circus-infused energy and the buzz from outside does not die down one bit when you get inside the McEwan Hall in Bristo Square.

The play – a collaboration between the Kyiv Municipal Academy of Variety and Circus Arts and Cirk La Putyka of Prague – started out being about Generation Z and how the teenagers of today are viewed as the “heads-down” generation, obsessed with smartphones, selfies, and influencers.

This is obvious from the start of the performance from the members of Cirk La Putyka who put on a busy montage of acrobatics with dozens of hashtags being voiced in the background until you can hardly make out one from the other.

But then gunshots are heard and a number of Ukrainian refugees appear stage left.

The National:

This is the moment where the two groups meet for the first time and the show then takes on a different life.

From then on, it is all about two cultures – which have a similar language and some similar traditions – coming together and creating emotional and impressive art. Cirk La Putyka reached out to students of the academy just a couple of days after Russia waged war on Ukraine, and the portrayal of their meeting on stage is one which touches the heart as they give each other a good look over before hugging and letting their creativity flow.

@scotnational These circus performers from Ukraine and Czech Republic met just days after the war broke out - now they're here performing at #edinburghfringe ♬ original sound - The National

It is impossible not to gasp at some of the athleticism and bravery on display from a cast who are largely in their teens and early 20s.

Although there were some tricks which were a little rough around the edges early on, the performers eventually settled into their stride and the skills on display once they did were mindblowing, with audiences applauding the stars several times throughout.

When the Ukrainians first arrive, there is definitely an element of uncertainty and suspicion present on both sides, and a sense that the students of Cirk La Putyka don’t want to let go of the show they originally created.

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But by the end there is an acceptance and joy in how the countries coming together brought even more colour and energy to a piece of art all about the vibrancy and freedom of the younger generation.

Any circus fan will thoroughly enjoy this show with all the classic apparatus and acts all covered including juggling, a balance beam, hoops, ropes and even a clown.

The war in Ukraine has destroyed families, towns, cities, and homes.

But in Boom we see how beauty and companionship have been borne out of devastation and it is well worth your time, especially if you really think youngsters are incapable of engaging in deep connection in the era of selfies, smartphones and social media.

Boom is on at the McEwan Hall at 3.30pm every day – except August 22 – until August 28.