Photos – Darren Thomas
Circus – a marvellous, whimsical world that seemingly appear out of nowhere and infect the town with excitement, anticipation and suspense. The imagery of circus has changed so much in recent times that it seems like there is a circus for every occasion and let me tell you – I don’t mind a bit. I remember being very young – holding my grandfather’s hand as we walked in to the big top. I remember the horses, the clowns and the trapeze. I remember the way the crowd gasped and cheered as the aerial artists somehow just escaped death. I am surely not alone in this image but now with the emergence of the ‘new cirque’ people from almost every genre are again being reunited in the whimsy and delight of the world of circus. I thought I had almost seen everything when it came to the wow factor; and then Cirque Adrenaline stepped it up another level.
Looming over the stage is the ‘Sphere of Fear’ – massive metal cage and you just know you’re in for a suspenseful evening. Enter Dizzy the Clown (Darren Partridge) and within seconds the ‘fourth wall’ has been broken and the audience are in stitches. As an audience for applause – we were strong. As a ‘clap response’ based orchestra? It was evident we sucked. Dizzy manages to squeeze a waltz made of clapping hands and the audience is ready for fun, which is good because the stage has filled quickly with ‘the Extreme Team’ and there are artists hanging from the sphere, jumping, flipping, break dancing and weaving through the holes in the wall. It’s all too much fun!
Side stage appears an angel in white (Sabrina Aganier) and the mood is instantly changed from fast paced heart pumping action to a singular hoop paired with a human spider dangling mid-air, using the hoop as an extension of her own body. Just as quickly as she appeared the next wave sets in and metal stacking begins. My accompaniment leans in and whispers “I am getting very nervous” – understandably so as the performer (Gediminas Pavlovicius) just keeps on stacking; five-six-seven high… The crowd gasps and I make a mental note to warn readers that if you are easily stressed this might not be the show for you! Just when you think it can’t get any more intense you are faced with the ‘Wheel of Death.’ Angelo Rodriguez and Carlos Mayorga are such dare devil, death defying performers that I had genuine moments where surely one would fall to his demise.
Dizzy the clown does a marvellous job of using his hilarious and whimsical brand of comic relief to help calm the crowd down between the hugely intense and downright stressful acts that keep you clutching your armrests and covering your eyes as you find yourself whispering profanities of disbelief under your breath. Cirque Adrenaline is sure to deliver you plenty or laughs amongst all of the heart pounding anxiety.
Last we are met with the ‘Sphere of Fear’ and it is the final adrenaline injection delivered by Noe Espana and their insanely dangerous but equally thrilling motorcycle manoeuvring that leave you breathless, gasping and basically begging for a cup of calming peppermint tea.
Yes, I have seen a lot of different circus performances in my life – everything from traditional, colourful, gothic and fantastical but never have I experienced such a thrilling ride of fear and fun. Even down to the lighting and music- everything in this performance is set to suck you in, confuse and astound you. I can’t tell whether Cirque Adrenaline is brilliant or insane. Either way you flip the coin – it’s a performance you’ll never forget.
QPAC in association with Tim Lawson and Simon Painter presents
Venue: Concert Hall, QPAC
Dates: 7 – 17 Jan 2016
Tickets: $99 – $79