News & Reviews

Melbourne - Trespass; Circus Oz

22nd June 2010

Boasting six brand new cast members and a plethora of new acts, this latest offering from Circus Oz had no trouble wowing its audience. Yet the company provided more than simply a smorgasbord of tricks - humorous, intelligent and well-synchronised, Circus Oz delivered a wholly entertaining and artistic experience.

Opening with the exciting Teeterboard and vaulting act, the acrobats propelled themselves high into the air, twisting and turning like gymnasts. The acts that followed were no less compelling, and included old favourites such as trapeze, group bike and hoop diving, alongside the newer acts of foot juggling and Chinese pole. Other entertainments included inline skating, aerials straps and tissu and Rola Bola, which involved balancing on top of a plank placed on top of a cylinder (or indeed, multiple cylinders!).

Circus Oz delivered a wholly entertaining and artistic experience

Foot-juggler Hazel Bock, one of Circuz Oz's latest additions, was a stand-out. Her perfect technical execution was all the more laudable for her ability to stay in character whilst performing such complex feats of co-ordination and balance. Indeed the juggling acts seemed to be the strength of the talented current ensemble, keeping the audience well and truly on their toes.

But it was really the show's humour that elevated the performance above the average. Mocking the conventions of traditional circus theatre, the performers gave the impression of having fun and not taking themselves too seriously. In turn, the odd moment of technical insecurity was rendered far more forgivable.

Crucial to this aspect of the performance was the music, custom-made for each act. At times it drove the action along, at times undermined it, but always did it add interest - singer Sarah Ward serenaded us with lyrics such as 'he pressed heavily on my chest', whilst the male trapeze artist stepped over his unfortunate partner, and Ward closed the act as the metaphorical 'fat lady' who sings. Each act blended seemlessly into the next, creating a unified show of artistic merit rather than merely a series of individual acts.

Circus Oz are to be commended for this well-conceived season. If this is the kind of circus theatre that Melbourne is producing, we should all be supporting its continued success.

Grace Edwards