Photos – Belinda Strodder
Welcome to the funhouse. Prepare yourselves as you tread beneath the red velvet curtains and into the fabulous, fantastical and frightening world of Circus Oz.
Australia's home grown circus of exceptional performers have been delighting audiences the world over, having completed seasons in New York City to standing ovations. However there really is nothing like a home crowd and Circus Oz were in their element, hamming it up and putting on a show like no other.
Titled From the Ground Up, the show centres' around a construction site and serves as a metaphor for Circus Oz's new home in Collingwood, where building has almost been completed.
Between extreme pole dancing and disastrous magic tricks (intentional I hope) the troupe of misfits and eccentrics kept the audience entertained with their trickery and triumphs. Luke Taylor's incredible juggling act set to a 1980's video game soundtrack was a highlight of the evening.
Inspired by a bygone era, walking into the big top at Birrarung Marr really is like entering another world. A world where weird is embraced and wacky is wonderful. The circus is an all-encompassing type of theatre; welcoming children, adults and even politicians into their clique. There is no discrimination, no hate, just acceptance and encouragement for each and every performer, crew or audience member.
Hosted by the cheeky "fruit ninja" Ghenoa Gela, she kept the audience in a festive mood and promoted the idea of a united Australia, where race, religion or sexuality didn't define you, a place we could all call home.
While at times the performance became overly political, the incredible acrobatics, stunts and tricks were always going to be the stars and the amazing jaw dropping spectacle created by the entire Circus Oz team was enough to make you reconsider those notions of running away and joining the circus.
Circus Oz Presents
From the Ground Up
Venue: Birrarung Marr, Batman Avenue Melbourne VIC
Dates: 20 June – 15 July 2012
Bookings: 03 9676 0300 | circusoz.com.au