News & Reviews

The Melba Spiegeltent - The Age; Close to the Bone review: Intimate Circus Oz show thrills with detail

14th December 2014

Circus Oz don't often do intimate shows but since they recently moved to Collingwood and put up a beautiful old Spiegeltent in their backyard, the time is ripe.

Close to the Bone features the current company performers, up close and very, very personal. Fancy looking up an acrobat's nostrils as he leans off a tiny stage and into your face? Keen to have a juggler squish a little ball onto your forehead with her foot? Roll on up!

The production was put together in just a few weeks, yet it's clear that these guys know their stuff. Kyle Raftery's towering giraffe unicycle is an unlikely but impressive inclusion on the three-metre catwalk, and while Dale Woodbridge-Brown takes the piss out of Lilikoi Kaos' stage persona with gusto, Matt Wilson bares more skin than ever before.

Directed by Debra Batton with Jo-Ann Lancaster and Simon Yates from acrobat, the work is carefully structured, though still rough around the edges.

Fast, funny and highly skilful, it's the little details that seal the deal. A tower of children's chairs balanced atop a bunch of objects including a pepper shaker, a glass bottle and a mini Eiffel Tower. The look on Olivia Porter's face as she chimes in a percussion act by crashing an aluminium plate on a series of heads, including her own. Spenser Inwood's dizzying aerials.

On the downside, the group musical numbers are on par with a B-grade school band.

Close to the Bone isn't perfect, but highly enjoyable nonetheless.

The Age
Chloe Smethurst

Photographer: Wayne Taylor

The Melba Spiegeltent - The Age; Close to the Bone review: Intimate Circus Oz show thrills with detail -