Circus Oz returns to Melbourne this month, ready to delight fans young and old alike with its new show TWENTYSIXTEEN.
Two hours of thrilling acrobatics, high-flying antics and clowning routines make up the new show, set to the energetic tunes of the Circus Oz band. Featuring original tricks and new faces, TWENTYSIXTEEN is a feast for the imagination. It is a creative and exhilarating show executed with confidence, passion and unwavering trust by an ensemble of genuine triple-threats.
Guest director Anni Davey has drawn inspiration for the new show from the circus method itself – revelling in its authenticity – and has curated an inspiring and extraordinary performance that, true to Circus Oz form, reimagines and challenges boundaries.
The women of Circus Oz shine in TWENTYSIXTEEN, often dominating the stage – most notably three high and to the admiration of their male counterparts. A gripping, all-female high-energy trapeze act starring performers April Dawson, Spenser Inwood and Sharon Gruenert is one of the highlights of the show.
The entire troupe is fantastic and perform together with an emotive level of respect and collaboration. Charismatic Dale Woodbridge-Brown is a star emcee, flamboyantly wooing the crowd and earning fans from his opening line.
Matt Wilson’s compelling balancing act, culminating in a thrilling drop from the apex of the big top, is especially impressive. A gender-bending, double-decker clothes swap is a both poignant and awe-inspiring and the Chinese pole routine and closing group trapeze act are both tremendous.
Musical director Ania Reynolds provides the sonic backbone of the show, alongside musician Ben Hendry and other ensemble members who provide cameo performances. Hendry’s deconstructed drum solo is a credit to his creativity and expertise as a musician.
Circus Oz has something for everybody and is a great family night out. It is accessible entertainment, combining slapstick humour with inspired overtones, all whilst defying the laws of physics. It is a loud and proud production which openly challenges contemporary societal issues in an irreverent manner.
Filled with “ooh” and “ah” moments, TWENTYSIXTEEN will have you laughing out loud one minute and on the edge of your seat the next. The standing ovation received at the opening gala was well deserved. It was a pleasure to watch such truly talented performers (and appreciate the work of back-of-house crew members) who clearly live and breathe the Circus Oz ethos.
The big top will be at Birrarung Marr until July 10, with shows running from Wednesday until Sunday. Tickets start from $22 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com.au or phone 136 100.