News & Reviews
Melbourne - Brisbane Times; Circus oz takes the big top to new heights at Melbourne's Birrarung Marr
18th June 2014
Melbourne’s Circus Oz has never been your traditional big-top affair, and this year’s show, which has its world premiere on Thursday night at Birrarung Marr, is as far removed from monkeys on horseback and performing elephants as you can get.
But Wait...There’s More is a mash-up of reimagined Vaudeville-inspired acrobatics, juggling and trapeze acts, with biting satire of today’s media-obsessed society, or ‘‘infobesity’’, as they’re calling it.
‘‘It’s mind-blowingly ambitious to say, 'Here’s a circus show in a variety format and now we’re going to put a meta level in to make comment on the media',’’ says comedian and singer Candy Bowers, who brings her hip-hop skills to her new gig with the ensemble as MC and lyricist. ‘‘But we like to push those edges.’’
Performed within a massive inflatable set designed by Felipe Reynolds, who created the large-scale animatronics for Global Creatures' King Kong and How To Train Your Dragon, the show uses modern circus and live music to travel from old-school Vaudeville to a dystopian near future where we’ve all been dehumanised by the rising tide of information, visual pollution, reality TV and ‘‘choice-mania’’ – punctuated by extraordinary feats of physical skill and some old-fashioned slapstick comedy.
‘‘It’s insanely ambitious and a crazy undertaking but it’s amazing,’’ says Bowers.
Circus Oz, now in its 36th year, is at Birrarung Marr until July 13 before embarking on an 18-month world tour.
Photographer: Joe Armao