Left – Kyle Raftery and April Dawson. Cover – Derek LlewellinPhotos – Rob Blackburn
In a return season of But Wait…There’s More, Circus Oz has pitched its state-of-the-art Big Top at Birrarung Marr with a show incorporating elements of rock n’ roll, cabaret, theatre and satire fused with the skills and tricks of traditional circus.
For those of you unfamiliar with this iconic Australian, all human circus ensemble, Circus Oz has been evolving, touring (both nationally and internationally) and wowing audiences for over 35 years.
Its artistic repertoire is based on the principles of community, diversity, humanity and hilarity. The performers are essentially storytellers and deliver “the spectacle” under the guise of sometimes silly, sometimes tender (even vulnerable) yet always-AMAZING feats of theatrical physicality.
The theme of But Wait…There’s More is based on the idea of consumerism and “infobesity” – always wanting more and never being satisfied. Through the diversity of the acts including acrobatics, aerial and static trapeze, juggling, hula hoops, unicycle, shoulder poles and original and dynamic song and dance routines, this ‘excess’ is convincingly illustrated.
Each performer has a very individualistic stage persona and (without exception) they all compliment each other perfectly. Again, re-iterating this sense of community, inclusion and respect.
So versatile are these performers, with many in fact, doubling up as accomplished musicians in the live band, that it makes trying to pick a favourite like asking a parent to pick a favourite child. Near impossible. But if I had to, I’d say the standouts were, Matt Wilson, a seasoned veteran with such stage presence (even his moustache commands attention). Candy B the sassy, booty-shakin’, hip-hop Ring Mistress (there’s gender equality right there for you) and Olivia Porter, who manages to deliver such a measured, deadpan and nuanced performance with her endearing awkwardness, that you can’t help but seek her out on stage.
Under the direction of Artistic Director, Mike Finch & Touring Show Director, Debra Batton in collaboration with a team of designers including Laurel Frank (costume), Paul Jackson (lighting), Felipe Reynolds (inflatable set), Michael Baxter (props) and Casey Bennetto (song writing) they’ve created a captivating, thought provoking highly original piece of work, suitable for all ages.
With its distinctly Australian irreverent voice, But Wait…There’s More, is a show that definitely connects with its audience and testifies to the fact that social commentary, when it doesn’t preach, can be met with rapturous applause and leave an audience feeling both gobsmacked and enriched.
Circus Oz presents
But Wait…There’s More
Artistic Director Mike Finch
Venue: Circus Oz Big Top | Birrarung Marr, Melbourne (between Federation Square and Batman Avenue)
Dates: 17 June – 12 July 2015
Tickets: $22 – $95 (plus booking fees)
Bookings: ticketmaster.com.au | 136 100