While the target audience of this show may be junior, the skills presented on stage are far from elementary. Three performers all work well together, communicating with each other and the audience without any words getting in the way. Each of the three has her own personality lighting up the stage, in contrast to each other, and with their own distinct circus acts. Beth Sheldon is flirty and outrageous, Dawn Pascoe is cheeky and Ruth Battle is easily tricked and upset, but still loves performing. Together they perform light-hearted dances, before taking it in turns to present their very different individual pieces.
Sheldon opens with a peculiar style of juggling, novel even to audience members who have seen circus acts before, throwing stackable picnic cups in the air and catching them inside each other. Her act includes audience members throwing her extra cups to catch, involving the helpers without putting them on the spot. Plenty of slapstick silliness fills the interludes between sets, until Battle launches into a hula hoop routine that includes walking across the stage, on her hands, while still keeping hoops moving around her limbs and waist! She is all tired out from so much hula hooping, and so she falls asleep on the floor, refusing to wake up to dance with the other girls. With big big grins, the other two sneak up on her and put a wet finger in her ear, their big grins reflected on young faces all around the tent. With a change of pace in action and music, Pascoe performs a smooth routine with diablo, her confident movements keeping the gentle rhythm with relaxed ease, fascinating children and their grown ups with the range of talents on display.
More follows, rope tricks, more practical jokes, “rude” contortion routines, juggling, frantic chases and hide and seek, culminating in thrilling solo and combined trapeze performances. Performer energy levels stay high, and no detail is overlooked for short attention spans and curious roaming eyes, with the performers waiting at the sides of stage dancing to the music during other acts. The hectic paced, rapid changes of routines keep the attention of even the most easily distracted youngsters, with the performers’ exaggerated facial expressions a constant delight. The skills displayed are stunning, with routines carefully prepared and choreographed to fit perfectly with the musical soundtrack. Visually, a strong red and white theme runs through the presentation, with staging, costumes and props all echoing the same stripes and polka dots, bringing a consistency to the helter-skelter sudden changes in the performance.
Cirque Candy Girls is a show that is as sweet as its name, with serious circus craft and ability that is not merely “good enough for the kids” but is thrilling entertainment for adults lucky enough to attend.
Natural Wings presents
The Cirque Candy Girls
Venue: Big Top | The Pleasure Garden, James Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 3 – 10 Feb, 2016
Tickets: from $15
Part of Perth FringeWorld 2016