UniverSoul Circus talk about bringing Hip-Hop Under the Big Top to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Lucky Malatsi
Name of Edinburgh show: UniverSoul Circus Presents: Hip-Hop Under the Big Top
Venue: Underbelly
Performance time: 5PM – August 4-25th
Show length: 60 mins
Ticket price: 22.30 pounds

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
Well, I’m Lucky Malasti and I’m from Pretoria, South Africa and grew up in Johannesburg. I started performing on the streets of Johannesburg, alongside my Uncle Prince, and my performing skills just grew from there. I’ve never had any formal training. Before I started performing on the streets, I always liked flipping around and doing unusual stunts. After performing on the streets for a couple of years, my uncle and I got the chance to visit Germany and China, which is how I got my international break; then I was discovered by UniverSoul Circus CEO & Founder Cedric Walker. With the circus, I’ve been a contortionist, acrobat, hip-hop dancer, and now Ringmaster!

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Our show is incredible. It’s all about Family, Fun, and Remarkable Thrills! I like to say we don’t have spectators, we have participators. We get everyone involved and off their feet as soon as they enter the big top! You’ll see some of the most incredible acts from around globe matched with sounds from the Caribbean, United States, Cuba, and more.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
I’ve been with UniverSoul Circus since 2000. Our show is still relevant today because our message has always been about families coming together to experience a good time! This experience will never go out of style, it will only amplify as time continues.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
We have never been to the Fringe so ask us in a month or so!

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
I would have to say the most embarrassing thing to ever happen was a couple of years ago when I fell off the giant wheel of death. My foot slipped from under me and I fell from about 25 feet. I got up and continued the show because I am the Ringmaster and the show must go on, but when the show ended I was backstage laughing like crazy, thinking to myself, “did I really fall tonight in front of 2000 people?”

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
My biggest inspiration would have to be my Uncle Prince, who I mentioned earlier. He taught me everything I know, which equipped me to become the performer I am today. He showed me that through discipline and dedication, anything is possible.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
I don’t know if this is a ritual, but it makes me feel good. I make sure to say a prayer and kiss my wife, son, and daughter for good luck.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
There’s loads of other amazing circus acts at Underbelly’s Circus Hub that I want to go and see. Our Canadian cousins Cirque Alfonse are bringing Tabarnak which is sure to be a great show, and the amazingly talented Circa are back with Wolfgang too. There is so much going on, though, that I’m looking forward to just wandering around the city to see what I can find!

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
People should come enjoy our show because we bring a different element to the idea of circus. Our feel, approach, and energy are unmatched. There is no other show in the world, doing what we do under the big top! We hope to see everyone down at Underbelly’s Circus Hub.


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