Tag: big top

REVIEW: Circus Oz Presents BUT WAIT… THERE’S MORE!

Left wanting more…

By Rachel Holkner

Circus Oz has always performed with such glee and joy, and But Wait… There’s More! is no exception: the performers and the audience are caught up in the joy of simply being a part of a circus. The atmosphere is undeniable, beginning even from collecting tickets to the sounds of the Federation Bells pealing right outside the Big Top.

Circus-Oz-But-Wait…There’s-More

Set in a mottled, crumbling theatre But Wait … There’s More! is the first Circus Oz show to have been produced at their new permanent, purpose-built Collingwood home of which they are suitably proud. If photographs in the program are any indication, the space is beautiful, light-filled, and modern. Everything this production is not.

Taking on “infobesity” as a theme, the idea that we are so inundated with data, marketing, sales, spin and brainless television that… what? The show offers no analysis nor solutions to the topics they try to explore. Instead the conceits are a thin thread to link together disjointed acts, too many of which were not only detached completely from the theme, but not even terribly entertaining.

Barcode clowns scatter through the show disrupting acts, and causing mayhem: their demands for acts to be presented in the form of a game show were irritating and lent nothing but to highlight how underdeveloped some of these filler-acts were.

There were some stunning performances from the ensemble – a ballet performed on unicycle by Kyle Raftery and April Dawson, a poignant juggling act by Olivia Porter – yet these were sadly too few. The show as a whole lacked the highs and lows you expect from a circus, whether side-splitting hilarity or breath-holding tension.

These highly skilled performers were hobbled by an underdeveloped story and I only hope they bring more of the beauty and light from Collingwood into their next production.
Venue: Under the Heated Big Top, Birrarung Marr, Melbourne

Dates: 18th June – 13th July. Check circusoz.com for full list of times.

Tickets: $24 (Child) – $95 (Ringside)

Bookings: www.ticketmaster.com.au, 136 100

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REVIEW: Asore for MELBOURNE FRINGE

Balanced and poised

By Myron My

With twenty-five years combined experience between them, Kali Retallack and Zoe Robbins are the two performers of Asoré: A Series of Rare Events. They have put together a circus show that is quite unlike any regular circus event. Set in the 1920s, we experience a quirky performance that is quite simple in delivery and yet one that requires great skill, timing and strength. The show predominantly consists of two techniques, hoola-hooping and foot-juggling, with some variations thrown in throughout.

I’ve seen quite a few circus shows, but Robbins’ foot-juggling is performed with precision timing and includes tricks that I have never seen before. My anxiety levels were on high alert when she began juggling various items with her feet, including two umbrellas.

Asore

Meanwhile, the juggling of fellow performer Retallack is possibly the most impressive act of the performance.

Whilst Retallack is also hypnotising when doing her aerial work on a hanging hoop, there were a few mishaps with wayward hoops during her standing routines. However, as with any circus show, mistakes and accidents happen and the attention is then on how the performers deal with it. Retallack remained composed at all times with a smile on her face and her confidence remained high.

The girls work the audience well with their interludes allowing the audience a breather from the intensity of what we are seeing. I particularly enjoyed the archival footage of various big-top circus acts, such as the woman who is balancing a chair in her mouth whilst she dances. Although a little too long, it works well with the theme of their 1920s travelling circus. The music used throughout is also a great contributor to supporting this appealing historical theme and environment. However, there are times when the artists attempt to talk over the music and become incredibly hard to hear. They either need to have microphones on or the music needs to be at a lower volume.

Asoré is an enjoyable 50 minutes of circus acts set to a different backdrop to that which we normally see. Its polished simplicity is  what makes it stand out above the rest.

Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park

Season: Until 05 October | 8:00pm and Saturday 2:30pm

Tickets: $25 /$20 Conc

Bookings: www.gasworks.org.au, 9699 3253 or http://www.melbournefringe.com.au, 9660 9666