WHO KNEW you could do so much with a few metal poles?

Circus group Ockham’s Razor have made a career out of doing a lot with a little, spectacular acrobatic feats using raw materials and natural agility.

As well as supporting the performers in their daring escapades, the poles are also used to recreate real-life scenes and objects including a forest, crossroads and pendulums.

If you were to describe Ockham’s Razor in one word, it would surely be inventive. Alex Harvey and Tina Kock, both key members of the company, say there is a certain amount of calculated threat to Tipping Point – especially given the audience are seated so close. The show is performed “in the round”, with the crowd seated around the stage.

“The show is designed to feel like it could fall on you,” said Alex. “We wanted to bring people in as close as we could.” Tina said: “When you’re that close you can see all the little muscle movements, the beads of sweat – it becomes a lot more human and personal.”

At times, the show feels almost dangerously intimate. There is one moment in Tipping Point when Alex swings one of the poles just over the audience’s heads, so they can actually feel the rush of air above them. “That makes people giggle... a nervous giggle,” said Tina.

“We acknowledge that the audience are there during the scenes,” said Alex. “It’s nice to see everybody’s reactions across from you. It feels almost ritualistic because everyone is involved.”

It took Ockham’s Razor a while to figure out how they wanted to present Tipping Point, how to best facilitate the airborne stunts that characterise the group.

“Usually we start with a piece of equipment – in this case the pole,” said Tina. “Very early on we realised there were a lot of circular motions so we decided on working in a circle.”

Alex said: “It was a question of how big or intimate we wanted to to go. We nominally decided on an 8m circle and drew it on the floor at rehearsals. We do sometimes go outside of that, but not that far.” Ockham’s Razor are named after William Of Ockham’s theory about problem solving: that when presented with various hypothetical answers to a problem, you should opt for the one that makes the fewest assumptions.

“It is called a razor because it cuts out unnecessary elements,” says the biography on the group’s website. “As a company we work with this simple approach” (not that “simple” would come to mind when watching one of their performances).

Circus appears to be a lifestyle for Alex and Tina and they admit they’ve used their skills to get them out of a few tight spots. “I locked myself out of my house and managed to climb over my back wall,” said Alex. “It’s really high, and it reassured me a burglar wouldn’t be able to get up there as it took me a while.”

Meanwhile Tina put her agility to use when she was living in a warehouse. “I had to climb on to the neighbours’ roof and on to ours,” she said. “I then had to go sideways through a narrow window.” Alex has a similar story about saving his family’s pet cat.

While many of us will hear these stories and feel an immediate rush of envy at the physical attributes of the two performers, at least we can vicariously live through them when they perform Tipping Point here next month.

Oh to be young again, and supple.

Tipping Point
Brighton Dome, April 5 and 6, 7.30pm. For tickets and more information visit brightondome.org