Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Friday, 28 August 2009 13:42 UK

No clowning around for circus act

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Controlled Falling Project
Christian Schooneveldt-Reid helps James Brown fly through the air during their performance of the Controlled Falling Project

An acrobat at Edinburgh's Fringe has told how it has become so competitive on the circuit that his act had to get degrees.

Christian Schooneveldt-Reid, 28, from Canberra, Australia said he had a BA in circus arts.

His colleagues in the Controlled Falling Project - Casey Douglas, 25, and James Brown, 27 - also went to National Institute of Circus Arts in Australia.

The stunt troupe have been getting four and five star reviews at the festival.

Mr Schooneveldt-Reid told BBC Scotland news website how he had a keen interest in gymnastics from a young age.

He said: "I used to always get soggy jam sandwiches for lunch so I started earning money to buy my lunch by doing back flips for the kids in the playground.

"I have 20 years of training but I also have a BA in circus arts as it is very competitive now."

David Joseph, 46, a veteran circus performer and musician from Melbourne in Australia who plays the mad scientist in the show, said the three stunt performers in the act were "highly-trained acrobats".

He said: "They are very expert in what they do. We could just have done a straight acrobatic show but instead we tried to get a coherent theme coming through so that it wasn't just physical stunts."

The show is about how the three acrobats are human test subjects and how the mad scientist tells them what to do.

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