Photos – Daniel Boud
Ladles and jelly-spoons: time for a trip down the rabbit hole to a psychedelic tea party with an egomaniac mad hatter, a guitar-playing red queen in drag, a plate spinning March Hare, a lycra-clad, metamorphosing caterpillar and a flamboyant Spanish flamingo. If you’re looking for a kids gig that is worthy of the ticket price these school holidays, then this chaotic, interactive circus production featuring the fruits of Lewis Carrol’s mind is definitely a front-runner.
With the stage covered in astroturf and popping toadstools in the exotic, European confines of the Spiegeltent, the twirling, tumbling, wise-cracking cast members kept their St Kilda Sunday crowd entranced with abundant energy and cheeky charm. There are aerial feats from the Cheshire Cat (Marianna Joslin) and the Red Kween (Stuart Christie), feats of hand balancing with the Caterpillar (Casey Douglas), songs from the pink flamingo (Alicia Rose) and hilarious comedy routines mixed with hula hooping from the Mad Hatter (Eloise Green).
It is impossible to simply sit back and be a spectator in this intimate circus created by Mike Finch, former Circus Oz Artistic Director. Audience members are invited to the tea table to have tea sloshed all over them, chuck giant sugar cubes at the stage, give frenzied support of the March Hare's (Daniel Gorski) 8 precariously spinning plates and wave their arms in the air to Queen’s We Are The Champions.
Some of the jokes for parents can be pretty dodgy at times – “What kind of person doesn't ask permission to pat a pussy?” – but the production is entertaining and fresh enough for that to be overlooked.
The Funatorium Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Venue: The Aurora Spiegeltent (Next to the Palais Theatre, St Kilda)
Dates: 28 June – 9 July 2017
Tickets: $38 – $30 (Family $75)