There are times when I wish I was ten again. Last Friday evening was one of them. As the lights dimmed and the first performer appeared on the stage—casually ‘walking’ along on a rolling oil drum while holding a painters palette, and smiling confidently at the audience—I wished circus school has been an option ‘back in the day.’ For the next 56 minutes the troupe of 11 performers (Jedda Bell, Mia Hughes, Kelsey Booth, Alana Langley, Luke Whitfield, Indra Garvey, Indigo Macrokanis, Tula Homes, Zebedee Davies, Nina O’Brien, and Victoria Mattison) presented a highly-professional and often very polished show that ‘fused’ comedy, tumbling, trapeze, plate-twirling, juggling, and more. And all without safety nets.
The show was tightly directed to allow each performer to present some of their specialities to an enthusiastic audience. Everyone will have had their own favourites. I was very impressed by the strength work, the chair ‘climbing’ (when reaching for the balloons) was really well done, and the ‘spoonful of sugar’ trapeze work was superb (elegantly demonstrating wonderful control and skill). It was great to see such a range of ages in the group: the older performers demonstrating skills in strength and in major set-pieces (such as the Carmen-style rope work). Some of the younger members of the troupe really shone—for example, when the “puppet” freed herself from the strings to be able to work with hoops while balanced on a ball, and when participating in some of the tumbling and dance.
I do hope that Flipside Circus can find the funds for a new speaker system, or get the sound operator to turn the sound down a little (as one of the speakers vibrated and cackled quite alarmingly at various stages, which was a distraction). And if I had to suggest changes, well I might not have included singing or playing the sax in a circus revue, and would have liked to have seen a little more of the comedy ‘fights’ in the first half, as they worked so well when threaded throughout the second half of the show. But these are tiny points. A talented troupe of performers, showing the skills they have learned and entertaining not only proud Mums and Dads but also a broader critical audience.
I know I’d never have been able to perform at the level demonstrated by the Fusion Performance Troupe. But how lucky are these students to have had the chance. Flipside Circus offer classes during school terms and school holiday workshops and advise that they are “suitable for everybody; ages from 18 months – adults, all skill levels, and all abilities” (http://www.flipsidecircus.org.au/). That particular tent may have gone for me, but having seen ‘Fusion,’ I am sure there are many people who may just have been inspired to give it a go.
The reviewer attended the 19th May 2017 (7:30pm) performance.
Tickets http://anywheretheatre.com/listings/fusion/ $0-22 (children under 5 free). 60 minutes. The show had only 5 performances during the 2017 Anywhere Festival (12th-20th May).