Tag: Olivia Porter

REVIEW: Circus Oz Presents CLOSE TO THE BONE

Wit, whimsy and wonder

By Myron My

When I go to the circus I often can’t help feeling like a child again as I watch in awe, wonderment and envy at the acts on display. Fortunately for me, these feelings continue to be felt at the Melba Spiegeltent with the current show from Circus Oz, Close To The Bone.

Circus Oz_Close to the Bone_Credit – Rob Blackburn_Caption – Lilikoi Kaos and Circus Oz band

The first thing you notice upon entering is the surprising size of the Spiegeltent. It’s a small and intimate space, which works well from an audience member perspective because no matter where you sit, you can more or less hear the heavy breathing of the performers, see the sweat dripping down their faces, and really see the strength and flexibility on display. These are highly talented professionals who are pushing themselves to their limits, and possibly even further.

I particularly enjoyed Lilikoi Kaos and Dale Woodbrige-Brown’s mischievous interactions during the hoop act, and Olivia Porter’s hacky-sack segment had everyone’s eyes glued on her from beginning to end.

The highlight of the night however belongs to Matt Wilson and his extremely high risk-balancing act, about which the less said is better so as to not ruin the surprise. What I will say though, is the tent was filled with tense excitement as Wilson went about performing this and the collective sigh of relief and cheers from the crowd upon completion was resounding.

There is a strong emphasis on music throughout Close To The Bone, which is led by the skillful Ania Reynolds and Ben Hendry. However, the cast also joins in throughout the night on a variety of instruments including guitars, piano and trumpets and even squeeze toys. The impressive “unconventional” drumming performance by Hendry further enhances the relationship between the two art forms.

Circus Oz’s Close To The Bone is an evening of good old-fashioned acts with just a touch of edginess and cheek that will most certainly entertain even the harshest circus show critics.

Venue: The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston St, Collingwood

Season: Until 21 December| Thurs-Fri 8pm, Sat 5:30 and 9:30pm, Sun 5.30pm

Tickets: $45 Full | $40 Conc

Bookings: ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100

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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