Melbourne Fringe 2016: JUGG LIFE

Throwing around innovative ideas, and catching everyone’s attention

By Myron My

There was a time when it seemed juggling was simply a person throwing a handful of balls in the air and keeping them there. While it is skillful, there was surely not much you could do with it to keep audience entertained for a prolonged period. However, presented as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival, jugglers Byron Hutton and Joe Fisher breathe amazing life into the art form with a highly engaging circus show, aptly titled Jugg Life.

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While the two use a variety of balls, pins and rings for their acts, it is the incorporation of music, percussion and their innovation in challenging what juggling that makes this show a definite crowd-pleaser. Their routines involve both some precision timing and the maintaining of impeccable hand-eye coordination not only for themselves but with each other, as objects are often passed adroitly back and forth while in mid-routine.

The energy and chemistry Hutton and Fisher possess is infectious, and watching them trying to one-up each other during their “street fighter” combat juggling is highly enjoyable to watch. The two remain strongly connected throughout the show and the support they have for each other is evident.

The set-up of the stage elicits an environment of fun, with bright boxes to store their props and a drum kit sitting in the corner, and the way they use the latter further displays their juggling prowess. The music is perfectly suited to keep energy levels up and the choreography of the routines to the music – particularly with the Polyphonic! app where the two create their own electronic songs – shows the real thought that has been put into Jugg Life.

Usually, juggling might not considered be as wow-inducing as jumps on a tight rope or balancing upside down on seven chairs, but Jugg Life certainly closes the gap. It’s a strong show by Hutton and Fisher who have taken juggling to a whole new exciting level.

Venue: Fringe Hub – Arts House, 521 Queensberry Street, North Melbourne, 3051
Season: until 1 October | 6.30pm
Length: 50 minutes
Tickets: $20 Full | $15 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival