Tag: Hazel Bock

Melbourne Fringe 2016: SIRKUS CIRCUS

Variety is the spice of circus life

By Leeor Adar

Circus Oz is delivering some real treats as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival this year. The Melba Circus Hub in Collingwood is featuring some excellent local and international circus and cabaret artists.

Sirkus Circus.jpg

Dale Hutton’s Sirkus Circus was a delight for all ages, featuring impressive independent circus, cabaret and contemporary vaudeville. The Melba Circus Hub filled with thrill-seekers of varying ages as we spent over an hour with our mouths gaping at the death-defying and often funny performances.

New Zealand’s Blingling Bros hosted our night with a series of laugh-out-loud mishaps interspersed throughout the astonishing performances.

Jess Love was a fantastic opener, as she flung and strung, and energetically twisted her body through her hoop act. Love was a perfect way to start this line-up with her professionalism and charm. The audience was fired up and whooping with claps and gasps.

As a Dale Hutton show, Sirkus Circus was a big tribute to the jugglers. Karl Laczko gave us a LED light show with his clubs that respond to movement, and Hazel Bock was an astonishing and unique wonder with her foot-juggling act. If you’ve never seen a flapper juggling a table, you’d have been in for a treat!

The international star of the night and DOCH alumni, Tony Pezzo, delivered his famous five-ring-juggling act. With colourful clothing and a striking, energetic presence, Pezzo commanded our attention and closed the night on a buzzing high.

Do yourself a favour and head on down to the Melba Circus Hub and catch yourself one of these Circus Oz treats by October 2. Tickets are available from the Fringe website: https://melbournefringe.com.au

REVIEW: The Broadwalk Republic Presents BARBAROI

Dark, dangerous and death-dealing circus

By Myron My

Traditionally, circus is about bright colours and laughter. However in the 2015 Melbourne Fringe circus show Barbaroi, circus is transformed into a dark, gritty and dirty art form. Coming out of the darkness are shady characters and misfits of society… It’s an enthralling hour of entertainment from the seedy underbelly of the arts.


The strong opening sequence sets the mood for the show with The Barbaroi (Avan Whaite, Stan Ricketson, Will Meager, Phoebe Carlson, Caz Walsh and Hazel Bock) entering and exiting the stage, completing various flips and tricks as they do. The lighting work during this is highly effective with six square spotlights on stage shaping the darkness, subsequently allowing the performers to be coming in and out of the shadows. The fast movements of the performers combined with the erratic but perfectly timed lighting choreography is a captivating sight.

There is barely a lull in Barbaroi with the audience kept on the edge of their seats for its entirety. Bock steals the show with her two sets of foot-juggling, that are just gobsmacking in their skill. She also plays the femme fatale-esque persona with the right amount of sass and attitude, which results in her having a particularly strong presence on stage.

Strong men Meager and Ricketson are amazing to watch during the teeterboard act – and not just due to their physique, as they achieve some phenomenal flips and twists. You would think The Barbaroi couldn’t make their acts any more difficult than they already do but then they turn the dial up even more and still breathtakingly succeed. Even Carlson’s bottle-walking act completely changes our expectations and its difficulty with just a simple action.

Barbaroi is the type of show that requires an immense amount of trust and support from each of the performers. Throughout the show, those not directly involved in the act remain on stage and watch, reinforcing the idea that The Barbaroi are one team and depend on each other to succeed. The set-up between acts  is well executed and along with the music played, emphasises the roughness and the “danger” of where we are and what we are witnessing.

The clapping and cheering from the audience at the conclusion of Barbaroi’s opening night for Fringe was more than well deserved. There is a high calibre of talented circus performers on display that deserve to be seen by many people during this two-week run. It is high-octane circus that will have your eyes transfixed on the stage and your heart beating at rapid speeds, until those spotlights finally go out.

Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park, 3206

Season: Until 3 October24-26 September, 9.20pm | 29 Sept – 3 Oct, 8pm

Tickets: $27 Full | $24 Conc | $20 Cheap Tuesday

Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival


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.

Cranked Up

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