Tag: Jess Love

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

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Melbourne Fringe 2016: NOTORIOUS STRUMPET AND DANGEROUS GIRL

Addiction and art, sisterhood and circus

By Myron My

Greeted with offerings of tea and coffee, we are welcomed into our Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. We all have stories we want to share in this meeting (whether we know it or not), but before we begin, Jess Love has something she would like to share, and that is how performance piece Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl begins.

Notorious Strumpet.jpg

Throughout this deeply personal show, Love explores her struggles with alcoholism and drug addiction, and the effects it has had on her personal life and the disconnect she feels with her family. With a Christmas family photo projected on the screen – one that does not include Love – she informs us that while she is a self-confessed queer carnie who drinks too much, the rest of her family are involved in the teaching profession and have also been Christian missionaries.

There is one family member that Love shares a bond with however: the “notorious strumpet and dangerous girl” herself, Love’s great, great, great, great grandmother Julia Mullins. Mullins was sent to Australia as a convict in 1826 for prostitution where she led a life of drunkenness, theft and other crimes. Despite the centuries between between them, there is a connection that Love feels with Mullins as they both deal with their addictions. One of the most striking visuals of the evening occurs when Love dresses up to resemble what Mullins might have worn back in her time, and presents a cheeky but touching homage to her distant relative.

The self-destructiveness of Love’s addictions are executed brilliantly in her ‘drunken’ circus performances. Her intoxication is highly convincing and the sense of danger is heightened during these routines, even when it is a standard hula hoop routine. The use of circus, performance and spoken word to share her stories and express her thoughts and feelings is well thought-out, with great pacing and momentum that never lags.

Love knows how to get the audience onside and even when the alcohol gets the better of her character and her behavior turns chaotic and crass, it is done in a way where we want to reach out and help her. The final moments of Notorious Strumpet and Dangerous Girl offers hope and calm for Love, and for anyone who may be experiencing difficulties in their life. While Love’s life has not always been pretty, she has managed to create something beautiful and meaningful with this show.

Venue: Meat Market, 5 Blackwood St, North Melbourne
Season: until 2 October | Tues – Sat 8pm, Sun 7pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $25 Full | $20 Conc / Cheap Tuesday
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

REVIEW: Finucane and Smith with GLORY BOX: PARADISE

Glorious performances

By Myron My

The highly revered Finucane & Smith have returned to fortyfivedownstairs with their subversive and seductive show Glory Box: Paradise that brings together a myriad of extremely talented women for a variety of acts, from circus to dance to cabaret performance, in a non-stop evening of evocative entertainment.

Glory Box Paradise Image by Jodie Hutchinson

Under the creative direction of Jackie Smith, Moira Finucane soon shows us why she has been so successful over the years, with sell-out seasons around the world for almost a decade. Her performance of ‘A Sunny Afternoon’ was highly emotional whereby, with no spoken word beyond the lyrics, she made a moving statement about our notions of beauty in society. When paired with U2’s hit ‘With or Without You’, the room was frozen in place with the audience deep in contemplation, having been left to our own devices to determine the underscored meaning.

Having experienced British cabaret star Ursula Martinez four years ago in London I was very excited to be seeing her again and I was not disappointed. Also sometimes referred to as the Red Hanky Lady, Martinez’s ‘Hanky Panky’ is always going to be a crowd favourite. Her collaborations with Guinness World Record hoola hooper Jess Love were highly entertaining and the final reveal of ‘Quick Change Sex Change’ proved that with a show like this, we can always expect the unexpected.

It’s an evening of no lulls or disappointments with strong performances by Holly Durant, Lily Paskas and Yumi Umiumare throughout, as well as a few songs by Yana Alana fresh from her Melbourne Cabaret Festival season. There are also a number of special guests joining these remarkable women throughout the season including Rhonda Burchmore and Paul Capsis.

There is a lot of nudity in Glory Box: Paradise but I found it to be quite liberating and affirming, even as a male, to see all these women being nude, or close to, on stage and not being embarrassed or making a big deal about it. There is a strong underlying message in this show regarding what it means to be a beautiful woman, in that all women are beautiful and should never be ashamed of their bodies – a sentiment you hear often but rarely witness being enacted.

In short, you will laugh, you will be inspired, you will think, and things will get messy – especially if you are sitting in the front few rows – but that’s all part of the fun and celebration of Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box: Paradise.

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Season: Until 11 August | Thurs 7:00pm, Fri-Sat 7:oopm and 9:30pm, Sun 5:30pm

Tickets: From $25 – $88.88

Bookings: http://www.fortyfivedownstairs.com/events or 9662 9966