Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus at the Theatre Royal in Sydney is a charming introduction to Mozart’s music. It only scratches the surface but due to his genius that surface scratch is enough to hook you in and leave you wanting more. Despite Mozart's start as a child prodigy and his fame spanning 225 years, his role in this show is a supporting act. The real showstoppers are Kathryn and Paul O’Keeffe who tumble, twist and pantomime this show to life.
Kathryn O’Keeffe plays the role of a lonely girl waiting for her party to begin. No one is at the door and as she waits, she opens a gift that is a record of Wolfang Armadas Mozart. When she plays the first side the flame is lit and the show begins. Kathryn is awesome. She is strong and her presence dominates the stage. At one point Wolfgang, played by Paul O’Keeffe, runs at her and lands both his feet on her chest. She absorbs his velocity and becomes a grounded platform for him to move onto the next acrobatic turn. Her circus skills were empowering to watch and I was in awe of her physical intelligence as well as her ability to maintain her character.
Paul O’Keeffe is also an accomplished physical actor. His balancing act on a stack of chairs had my son fixated and asking questions like. “Is he real?” and “When can I do that?”. Paul's ability to convey a range of emotions through physical theatre and facial expressions would have left Rowan Atkinson/Mr Bean impressed.
Kathryn and Paul complement each other wonderfully. They are seamless in their dual performances. There is a great sense of frivolity and joy in this production. For example they performed tricks with simple pieces of paper that I immediately noted to try out at home. (It worked but I think I need practise). One of the best scenes that demonstrates the individual skills and the brilliance of cooperation was when Wolfgang arrives on a bicycle with hardly any clothes on. While he pedals round the stage she climbs on to the bike, over his shoulders, leaps off and on again and by the end he is dressed in full Wolfgang regalia.
The third person on stage was the quirky accordion player, Gareth Chin. He acted as a ballast for the high stakes and incredible antics of the O'Keeffe’s, even encouraging a reconciliation after one of the most hilarious slow-motion fights I’ve ever seen.
This show was such fun and I would recommend it to all. My only tip would be to get in early if you need a booster seat for smaller audience members. They run out quickly and the seating does make it hard for little theatre goers to see the stage.
Circa, GWB Entertainment and Trafalgar Entertainment present
Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus
Created by Yaron Lifschitz with Benjamin Knapton and the Circa Ensemble
Director Yaron Lifschitz
Venue: Theatre Royal Sydney |108 King Street, Sydney NSW
Dates: 20 – 24 April 2022