News & Reviews
Sydney, Australia - Weekend Notes; Circus Oz: But Wait... There's More at Entertainment Quarter
9th January 2016
To many an adult, it comes as a surprise that a child finds more interest in a cardboard box than $500 worth of Fisher Price toys. In Circus Oz's But Wait … There's More, a box serves as a mini-stage, magical cabinet and fashion item. It's a fitting motif for a show that questions our obsession with accumulating "stuff".
But Wait … There's More arrives at The Entertainment Quarter's Show Ring for its final season after two years on the road, including a U.S. tour and a season at La Tohu, Montréal's circus mecca. It's the last work created by artistic director Mike Finch, who left the famously animal-free company in June after 17 years.
Rather than sledge hammering the theme, the circus's twelve self-described "fabulous weirdos" communicate through higher languages: complex juggling, virtuosic uni-cycling, breathtaking trapeze artistry, lyrical dancing, witty slapstick, hilarious impersonations and live music, surging between ethereal melodies and compelling rhythms.
With a monumental ruined theatre as a backdrop, each sketch touches on consumerism from a different angle. In one particularly stunning solo dance, the immensely skilled and expressive Olivia Porter juggles a growing pile of white balls, falling around her like rain. In another, two clowns, dressed as bar codes, play out a dead body scene, funny enough to give Death at a Funeral a run for its money.
As the show approaches its high point, the action speeds up, the music grows louder and more frenzied, and the lines between sanity and madness, and between humour and rage, begin to blur – more or less reflecting the arc of a department store Boxing Day sale, and asking us if all that stuff is worth all the stress. There's so much fun to be had with a cardboard box.
Photographer: Rob Blackburn