Circus GirlYoung girls tumble across the stage, flip over and over, handle enormous numbers of hula hoops, stand on large balls, and fly, twirl and spin through the air. And this is only the overture.

Circus Girl is a chance for some of the girls of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus, one of the world’s premier youth performing arts and education companies, to tell their story. Performed by eight highly talented female members, and written from their own stories (by Jodie Farrugia), Circus Girl tells a unique story about being female in such a physically demanding industry, however their stories connect with universal issues about growing up, fitting in, and being accepted. It is definitely about girls, however a girl-power, feminist angle is not expounded upon. Rather, it is inherent in the issues present. This is a story of being new, touring without family, and worrying about the body changes of puberty. But above all, this is a show about friendship. And, of course, circus.

And what a circus. These girls are extraordinarily talented circus performers, executing every leap and flip with ease. Not only that, they are also all gifted actors. Most of the action is unspoken, with the text happy to lie in an ever-present and complex soundtrack (by Andrea Rieniets) comprised of layered voices, electronic blips and more orchestral music. The girls convey a range of emotions and narrative nuances, telling the story with their bodies as well as their faces.

Judging by the large number of excited children tumbling, rolling and cartwheeling in the foyer during interval, the show is squarely aimed at this age group. However, I did find it very enjoyable. Despite the pantomime-style moments, which to me came off as slightly cheesy, the charm and likeability of these performers won me over. The girls’ light-hearted and positive attitudes shine through their incredible physical feats, positioning themselves as excellent role models for girls in any field. Their infectious charisma made it impossible not to be swept up in the show, which is a feel-good delight.

Riverside Productions presents The Flying Fruit Fly Circus
Circus Girl

Venue: Parade Theatre, NIDA, Anzac Parade, Kensington
Dates/Times: Tue Feb 20 7pm / Wed Feb 21 11am / Thu Feb 22 11am / Fri Feb 23 11am / Sat Feb 24 2pm & 7pm
Duration: 90 mins
Tickets: Adults $35, Conc/Grps (10+) $30, Under 16 $20, School matinees Students/additional teacher $14
Bookings: Book for Tue & Sat on 132 849 or , schools matinees through Riverside box office 8839 3399
Suitable for all ages