Crack a Fat Circus | Women's Circus and Circus OzPhotos – HONEphotography.com

Presented by John Henry, Crack a Fat Circus sees The Women’s Circus and Circus Oz join forces to create a season for Melbourne’s 2012 Midsumma Festival. The show is colourful and fun, and offers audiences an array of performances with something to suit all tastes. With the influx of quality circus acts around town over the past few years though, audiences have become quite savvy to the spectacle and really demand “bang for their buck”. You do get quite a bit of bang with Crack a Fat Circus, and there’s no denying the skill of the performers, but unfortunately the show lacks a consistency of tone, which leaves the viewer wanting.

Made up of segmented performances, there are a few definite stand outs across the evening. Mathew Brown’s work on the aerial straps to the pumping strains of Purple Rain ranked high on the charts, as did Ruby Rowat and Sharon Gruenert on the double trapeze during the finale... but Jess Guille stole the show during an inspired performance of Collette’s Ring My Bell. It’s worth the ticket price alone. Debra Batton is also an absolute charmer and her T-Shirt monologue, while seeming a little out of place within the piece, is thoroughly engaging.

The problems with the show seem to stem from there being no set notion about WHAT it is. It jumps from movement pieces and tales of being in a Turkish prison, to group balancing and epic adventures through the jungle... but there’s no clearly linked narrative. That makes it all seem very quirky, yet also slightly muddled. That being highlighted though; the atmosphere surrounding the show is very relaxed and welcoming, so even though the show may not be uber slick – there’s a definite charm that keeps the audience in their seats.

Running in the Melba Spielgeltent, which is snuggled away in Docklands, Crack a Fat Circus makes for a fun night out and with a limited season, it’s definitely worth a look in!


John Henry presents
Crack a Fat Circus

Venue: Melba Spiegeltent, Docklands
Dates: 20 – 28 January, 2012
Tickets: $30 - $33
Bookings: www.midsumma.org.au