Photo – Rob Blackburn
Circus Oz offers radiant virtuosity in TWENTYSIXTEEN.
This stupendous show is an absolute whoop, a jolly, big-hearted, comical, incident-packed and acrobat-heavy circus romp that has to stand as one of the most inexorable and enjoyable productions to hit the Thebarton Theatre in years. Guest director, Anni Davey and a superb ensemble have produced something world-class; if the two-hours pass quickly don’t be surprised. The emphatic action is unremitting, and much of its power derives from the honest, often highly dangerous stunts and tumbles performed by the cast.
There’s also a sense that this homage to all that is good in circus is being treated with the respect it deserves. The anchors here are funny, naughty, flamboyant and talented: Dale Woodbridge-Brown is a triple threat – gay, indigenous and adopted – and brings incisive comedic timing to proceedings, while new-age levitation expert Infinity Love Beads (Flip Kammerer) is zany, whacky and full of barbed jibes and toilet humour. It may seem like all fun and games, but there is serious gymnastics, athletics and acrobatics on display especially from the females. Spenser Inwood, April Dawson and Sharon Gruenert literally throw themselves into all kinds of power-lifts and high-flying tricks that demonstrate all that is wonderful about girl-power.
TWENTYSIXTEEN packs a lot in, but it is basically a classic circus demonstration centred on comedy, garish costumes, and backed by an accomplished band that is part Marx Brothers, Split Enz and Devo. Overall, it’s a well-formed show that dips into many aspects of the performing arts that will probably satisfy pretty much everyone.
In many respects, the performers are astonishing. Certainly, Matt Wilson deserves special mention for balancing on a series of stacked chairs, and his clothing swap with April Dawson – as she teeters precariously balanced on his head. As does Kyle Raftery (with April Dawson) and his beautiful unicycle routine.
In short, the entire production is intensely magical.
Circus Oz presents
Director Anni Davey
Venue: Thebarton Theatre | 112 Henley Beach Road, Torrensville SA
Dates: 30 – 31 July 2016
Tickets: $60 – $35