MAGIC was in the air at Brighton Dome over Christmas as Acrobuffos – performance duo Seth Bloom and Christina Gelsone – brought their wonderfully inventive show to the city.

Air Play was a brilliant demonstration of the human imagination and, at times, the human body. Smart set-pieces featuring domestic items sat alongside astonishing physical feats.

The premise behind the large majority of the show was so simple one wondered why no physical theatre groups (to this reviewer’s knowledge) have tried Acrobuffos’ method before now. A ring of electronic household fans were positioned around Bloom and Gelsone, who proceeded to float umbrellas, silk kites and even polystyrene chunks up into the air above them.

By switching certain fans on and off as the performance progressed, the duo were able to coax swirling, beguiling patterns from the innocuous items and entrance their audience. Children and adults alike were enthralled by Acrobuffos’ display, and Bloom and Gelsone were adept at engaging their crowd with a number of participatory activities.

When one middle-aged women let a balloon slip through her grasp, Bloom wore an expression of mock-disgust as he saw it gravitate towards the roof of the Dome. He wouldn’t let the audience member forget it for the rest of the show.

The couple class themselves as “clowns” – indeed they met in Afghanistan while they were both teaching circus skills and physical theatre. Air Play is the gratifying end result of many years spent working and living together.

Their close bond was evident in the loose narrative that underpinned the show; the story of a brother and sister who gradually and inevitably lose their childhood glee and grow apart. When a large, solitary red balloon sailed solemnly through the air, the poignancy of that plot was brought home with powerful effect.

At other times, out-and-out comedy had the crowd in stitches; especially when Bloom and Gelsone turned themselves into human space-hoppers by crawling into a pair of oversized balloons. A soaring show.