Everything it’s cranked up to be
By Jessica Cornish
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you,
Happy birthday Circus Oz,
Happy 35th birthday to you!
35 years on and Circus Oz is still in full swing, and just launched their 2013 reconstructed season of Cranked Up. The quirky production (founded on their previous show From the Ground Up) is loosely focused on the idea of the ‘construction, building and fabrication’ of Australia, and entertained its audience with its wild and witty antics in pantomime style.
The multi-talented cast were very versatile, and personal highlights included drummer Bec Mathews in her pendulum-like structure flying across the space as acrobats weaved in and around the swinging object, the table skilfully juggled on the soles of Hazel Bock’s feet, and commentary by Indigenous clown/actor Mark Sheppard. The finale of act 1 was also mesmerising, with a trampoline scaff (scaffolding) tower acting as the centre piece for manic acrobats flinging themselves off this structure in a visual frenzy of back flips, jumps and dives.
The show was highly enjoyable and lots of fun. However, opening night jitters got the better of some performers with a few dropped balls, missed flips and slightly less-than-flawless scene changes. Likewise some of the banter from the MCs was slightly hard to follow at times, and I got a little lost in the dialogue. However, I am certain given a week these issues will iron themselves out, and the show will just keep evolving and getting better and better!
Circus Oz is an amazing company that consistently promotes social inclusion and equity for all Australians, and newly-arrived members of our community. Facilitating numerous workshops and performances in some of our most remote Indigenous communities and detention centres, and donating thousands of tickets to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre on a regular basis, they are a company that values both human diversity and ‘ having a good time’. And Cranked Up is a great show that allows all people to come together and enjoy themselves in the crazy and incredible antics that are Circus Oz. What are you waiting for?!
Where: Under the (HEATED) big top at Birrarung Marr
When: 19 June- 14 July
Cost: From $24
Bookings: Phone 136 100, or at Ticketmaster Outlets or via www.ticketmaster.com.au