Highly enjoyable new show
By Jessica Cornish
TwentySixteen, the latest Circus Oz creation to hit their Big Top at Birrarung Marr, went back to its roots in this show – but with some unexpected and quirky twists and turns, resulting in one of the company’s best productions in years.
Under the direction of Anni Davey and musical direction of Ania Reynolds, the small but versatile cast plunged into everything from musical instrument to trapeze in a fast-paced night. Acrobatics featured heavily through out the evening, particularly showcasing the strength of the female performers. The Chinese pole, flying trapeze, hoop-diving and a unicycle adagio were all there, plus a beautifully choreographed and eccentric flying-trapeze acrobatic number featuring a bare-bummed male performer gliding across his hysterical audience members. The music was bright, punchy and helped the acts smoothly transition from one scene to the next.
MC’s Flip Kammerer and Dale Wood-Bridge Brown clowned it up throughout the evening and managed to do a good job holding the audience’s attention. Adult themes were cleverly woven in to the script, entertaining both adults and children simultaneously. My only niggle was that throughout the show it was only the female MC who was consistently falling or being pushed down by her male counterparts. Seemed a little bit odd and uncomfortable to see nowadays, but considering Circus Oz’s general practices, it was possibly to challenge the audience’s gender perceptions – or this is just a bit of slapstick comedy being overly critiqued.
The evening’s performance was not yet perfect: further work still needs to be done particularly on the juggling work, with quite a few dropped balls throughout the night and considering the choreography wasn’t completely in sync. Once again though, as nerves abate and the season progresses, so too shall the quality and ease of the performance. TwentySixteen is satisfyingly interesting, colourful and an entertaining two hours away from the rainy Melbourne streets.
Season: 15 June- 10 July
Prices: From $40.00 – $95.00
Venue: Circus Oz Big Top, Birrarung Marr
Image by Rob Blackburn