Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Circus: SPIT

2 – 13 February @ The Black Flamingo at Yagan Square ·
Presented by Angelique ‘Reckless’ Ross ·

SPIT. A one woman Circus Revenge.
Brutality balanced by beauty.
An award-winning relentlessly ferocious circus show.
Tight wire, trapeze and tomatoes.
Attack hard and spit back.

“Bold and Unconventional” The Irish Times 2018
“Grace with unexpected ferocity” St. Anne’s Warehouse, New York

More info
W: www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/spit-fw2019
E:  angelique.s.ross@gmail.com

Pictured: SPIT, credit: Portia Gebauer 2018

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Cabaret, Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Cabaret: Circus’Cision

18 – 19 Jan, 1 – 9 Feb @ The West Australian Spiegeltent ·
Presented by Head First Acrobats ·

Returning to Fringe World after a complete Sell out season in 2018.
Welcome to Circus’Cision: Those that made the cut!

A variety mash-up of circus superstars, Spiegeltent legends and
the hottest acts of this year’s Fringe World. Presented by your
favourite acrobats, the boys from Head First (creators of smash
hit Elixir). With a rotating cast each night, different guest
artists get to showcase their best, weirdest and most hilarious
talents, backed up by the incredible acrobatics of HFA.

WARNING: There will be naked acrobats, offensive language and late
night shenanigans!

More info:

Pictured: Circus’cision, credit: Frank Packer

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Circus, Classical music, News

Circus spectacular

Review: ‘Tutti: Circus Oz and WASO’ ⋅
Perth Concert Hall, November 30 ⋅
Review by Laura Biemmi ⋅

The concept of Circus Oz performing with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra is as brilliant as it is intriguing. Watching two seemingly separate art forms collide and interact not only puts a new spin on each discipline, but it can potentially introduce new audiences to each art form (such as myself; a classical music lover who hadn’t been to the circus before).

Throughout the performance the collision of classical music and death-defying circus acts was an awe-inspiring spectacle. Nigel Westlake’s Flying Dream suite was the perfect accompaniment to the ascents and descents of the performers, who scaled ropes and used them to soar above the orchestra. Similarly, Saint-Saëns’ Danse Macabre suited the terrifying trapeze display, the dangerous nature of which drew gasps and cries from the audience. Semra Lee-Smith’s devilish violin solo with its perfectly tuned tritones was just as exciting as the visual spectacle. The evening was also filled with mind-boggling juggling, some terrifying unicycle riding that involved more people than wheels, and plenty of acrobatics to keep the eyes of the audience entertained.

As a classical musician and a regular concertgoer, the frequent audience applause and cries that interrupted the performances was a new and interesting experience for me. How freeing to clap whenever one feels like it! However, the cries of the audience when a trick nearly went wrong was uncomfortable; how awful for the performers to know that the audience not only witnessed but felt the need to draw attention to a momentary stumble. I couldn’t imagine this translating into an orchestral context; imagine playing a wrong note, only to have the audience gasp at your mistake!

Whilst the orchestra may not have been the focal point for the audience, the music was just as integral to the evening as the circus acts on display. However, it would be reasonable to assume that Circus Oz may have been distracting for the orchestra, as questionable intonation pervaded several wind chords, and there were a few moments where the brass playing wasn’t as clean as usual. Nevertheless, WASO and guest conductor Benjamin Northey did a fantastic job of supporting Circus Oz, always maintaining excellent rhythmic clarity and cohesion.

The orchestra may have always been in time, but there were moments when the circus performers did not align in their manoeuvres. Perhaps this is informed by my musical and rhythmic training, but I found the moments where two performers were performing the same acts side by side but not in an entirely synchronised manner, quite distracting. However, this may be me misinterpreting the aim of the artform; synchronisation and unity may be valued more in music than in the circus arts.

Circus Oz and WASO was a fantastic visual and aural feast for a diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds. Though some of the numbers may have been a bit longer than necessary (and, perhaps the number of numbers too numerous), the evening was unlike anything that I had experienced in the Perth Concert Hall.

Pictured top L-R: Kyle Raftery, Sam Aldham, Tania Cervantes Chamorro, Alyssa Moore, Josie Wardrope, Robbie Curtis. Photo Rob Blackburn.

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Cabaret, Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Circus: Rouge

29 Jan – 10 Feb @ The West Australian Spiegeltent @ The Pleasure Garden ·
Presented by Highwire Entertainment ·

Ready to run away with the circus? Award-winning* Rouge circus
cabaret makes its WA debut at Fringe World Perth.
(* Winner Best Circus & Physical Theatre Adelaide Fringe 2018).

From the creators of the wildly successful touring production
Papillon, Rouge is a decadent blend of sensational acrobatics,
operatic cabaret and tongue-in-cheek burlesque. Audiences will
be mesmerized by the nonstop tumbling, hooping, swinging, fire-eating,
singing and dancing performed by stunning and flexible talent live
on stage. A fully loaded celebration of the astonishing and the down
right sexy, this is a circus for the grown-ups!

Featuring Isabel Hertaeg (a highly-esteemed international opera singer
& cabaret artist), Paul Westbrook (Masters Graduate Royal Central School
of Speech & Drama, London), Andre Augustus and Annalise Moore (CircaNica),
and Chris Carlos and Jessie McGibbons (NICA graduates). Written and
directed by Elena Kirschbaum.

Rouge is set to thrill West Australia audiences in its Perth premiere.
Sold out shows and rave reviews from audiences all around Australia will
make it a must-see show at this year’s Festival.

Rouge is produced by Highwire Entertainment, a Melbourne-based production
house specialising in circus and multi-artform performances and events
touring Australia and the world.
For more info visit highwire.com.au/

What The Critics Say About Rouge
“Circus for adults in the way we have come to know, love and slightly
lust after” – Adelaide Advertiser
“A burst of energy with ripping muscles and plenty of tongue in
cheek antics” – In Daily
“Astounding performances with the kink and glamour of
modern cabaret” – Weekend Notes
“The show that reignited the fire in my knickers” – Miss Smut Buttons

More info:


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Lang Toi
Calendar, Circus, Performing arts, Perth Festival

Circus: Lang Toi

8 – 17 February @ the Regal Theatre ·
Presented by Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam ·

Bamboo poles sway as contortionists, acrobats and jugglers
expertly balance and leap from them. A village goes about
its daily life as live music, performed by virtuosi musicians,
accompanies the action. This is circus at its absolute best!

Nouveau Cirque du Vietnam promises to be the hottest ticket in
town when they return to the Regal Theatre. Merging tradition
and innovation, Lang Toi uses poetic imagery, folk music and
incredible acrobatic skill to create a spellbinding event for
the whole family.On stage 15 acrobats and four musicians evoke
the daily life of a traditional Vietnamese village. With just
a few bits of string, bamboo and bicycle inner-tube, superb
moving structures are built and rebuilt before your eyes as
you’re transported into the heart of the action in a rice field,
at a child’s game, at the market or during a storm.

Experience the beauty of Vietnamese culture in this thrilling
theatrical experience that has delighted audiences around the world.

Produced by Lune Production

More info:

Pictured: Lang Toi, credit: Nguyen Duc Minh

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A woman, a man and a bird surrounded by flowers.
Circus, Music, Musical theatre, News, Opera, Performing arts, Theatre

First peek at 2019 Perth Festival

Perth Festival has given us a tantalising glimpse of its 2019 programme, revealing four of the works on the line-up.

Returning to open the Festival will be Boorna Waanginy: The Trees Speak, a nocturnal wonderland that will, once again, light up Kings Park over four nights. This free, outdoor event is a celebration of Noongar culture and the beauty and biodiversity of the South West of WA, that sees audiences take a kaleidoscopic walk through projections, animation, sound and lighting effect along Fraser Avenue and deep into Kings Park.’

Balls of light in a park at night
‘Boorna Waanginy’. Photo: Toni Wilkinson.

That weekend will also see two international shows, both Australian exclusives, open in Perth. The first, Lang Toi, by Nouveau Cirque de Vietnam, is a daring display of acrobatics, physical theatre, live traditional music and playful bamboo constructions, that transports the audience into the heart of a Vietnamese village.

an acrobat standing on one hand
A scene from ‘Lang Toi’. Photo: Nguyen Duc Minh.

The second work, The Great Tamer, sees Greece’s Dimitris Papaioannou explore the mysteries of life, death and the beauty of humanity with enigmatic, dreamlike scenes and visual riddles. Using ten performers and a shape-shifting floor that undulates to Johann Strauss’s “Blue Danube”, Papaioannou’s magical stagecraft brings to life a series of inventive live paintings.

Last – for now – but not least, flying elephants, gaudy 1920s flappers, comic-book villains, gigantic spiders, butterflies and wolves run rampant as performers interact with animated characters in Barrie Kosky’s exhilarating production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, presented by Kosky’s Komische Oper Berlin, British theatre group 1927 in association with West Australian Opera and the West Australian Symphony Orchestra.

The full 2019 Perth Festival program will be announced 1 November 2018.

Pictured top is a scene from Komische Oper Berlin’s “The Magic Flute”.

A man throwing seeds over his head
A scene from ‘The Great Tamer’. Photo: Julian Mommert.
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circus oz
Calendar, Circus, December 18, Music, November 18, Performing arts

Circus: Circus Oz with WASO

30 Nov, 8pm & 1 Dec, 2pm @ Perth Concert Hall ·
Presented by West Australian Symphony Orchestra ·

Join WASO as they entwine their music around the acrobatic limbs of Circus Oz in a spectacular fusion of two extraordinary and dramatically different art forms. Be swept up by the power of the live orchestra as Australia’s daredevil stunt masters defy the laws of physics, tickle your funny-bone and push the boundaries of impossibility.

More info: http://tickets.waso.com.au

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Compagnie XY Il n'est pas encore minuit
Circus, News, Performing arts, Reviews

Hoopla! Hoopla!

Perth Festival review: Il n’est pas encore minuit by Compagnie XY·
Regal Theatre, 9 February ·
Review by Varnya Bromilow ·

I don’t have a whole heap of regrets, but one that I do have is never having learned to do anything really incredible.  I’m not talking about learning to speak Spanish fluently, or playing the trombone…these are admirable skills to be sure, but they are not incredible.  I mean doing a triple axle on ice-skates, or starting a fire with two sticks, or memorizing the phone book.  Doing backflips off someone’s shoulders definitely counts.  It’s a skill that evokes sheer wonder.

This sense of wonder filled the Regal Theatre last Friday when an underpacked house witnessed the spectacle that is Compagnie XY.  The French troupe of acrobats are renowned for pushing the limits of the human body…Il n’est past encore minuit (It is not yet midnight) does just that.  The show begins with a series of authentic-seeming wrestles between the players – so authentic that I convinced my junior companions that I’d forgotten it was actually a fighting show, not an acrobat show we were here to see.  The mild tension built by these fierce tackles quickly changed to laughter when two very petite women took centre-stage, wrestling with such brutality that it felt a bit like watching a couple of elves having a battle.

Wrestling transformed seamlessly into throwing…the throwing of bodies, that is.  Watching how easily bodies were propelled into the air, it was difficult to remember that these were actual human beings being tossed around, rather than feather-weight fairy people.  One of the really refreshing aspects of Compagnie XY is the sheer diversity of human forms within the circus.  Of course, one has the petite women and men who form the top of human towers, but there were also a good number of more generously proportioned individuals.  Remarkably, these latter figures were also frequently airborne.  There’s a spirit of egalite here in all aspects of play.  The usual gender roles one observes within the circus are regularly flouted – women suspending smaller men; the troupe holding men aloft, rather than the usual female star.

There’s also a vast range of ages performing – I haven’t been able to pin down the age of the troupe’s founder, Abdeliazide Senhadji, but let’s just say he has the silver hair and bearing of someone in his late 40’s or early 50’s.  Others are barely into their 20’s.  It’s a novel and gorgeous thing to witness such a disparate group of bodies coming together in perfect cohesion.

And there is so much to witness!  One’s eyes flit ceaselessly around the Regal’s sizeable stage, trying not to miss a thing.  This is impossible – you’re caught up in an elaborately arranged pile of humans when suddenly from stage left a body literally flies into view.  Highlights included a sequence involving four humans standing atop each other’s shoulders; a perfectly average-sized man being propelled into the air off a plywood platform, executing a triple backflip; a tower of three humans collapsing forward into a group of catchers only to remain assembled and then tipped backwards into the arms of other catchers.  Ridiculous!  My personal favourite was a subtle routine wherein players had another player standing on their shoulders…they then strolled calmly about, no hands supporting the weight of the human atop them.

Mix in an eclectic mix of music and you’re left with a wonderfully entertaining hour, thoroughly deserving of the gasping admiration and standing ovation from the audience.

Fabulous. I implore you to see it.  No really – go and book your ticket now.

Il n’est pas encore minuit runs until February 17th

Photo: Perth Festival

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Circus, News, Performing arts, Reviews

Bemusing but beguiling

Fringe World review: Fisticuffs by Sven Hopla ·
Cirquest, 8 February ·
Review by Suzanne Ingelbrecht ·

A rope hanging from the rafters, a punch bag marked Cassius and a military helmet named Born to Klown and we’re in the set-up for Sven Hopla’s Fisticuffs and some classic bait-the-audience clowning.

Red crabs, the kind that make their annual pilgrimage across deadly Christmas Island roads to mate and spawn on the beach, are thrown into the audience as proof of the tragedy of being a lowly crab. But this isn’t really tragedy, is it? I mean it’s absurd to feel sorry for a crab and its potential demise at the pincers of the crazy yellow ants… isn’t it?

You get the picture. The antics of Hopla to “explain” tragedy (or is it drama?) to his bemused spectators certainly make for “a strange time”. But Fisticuffs has its beguiling moments, particularly when the performer demonstrates his consummate skill as a circus aerial acrobat and performs tricks with the rope that command all his strength and courage.

The audience enjoyed it and so did I, although Hopla might have benefited from a more energised and gung-ho participatory audience on this, his opening night at the Cirquest main space.

Our fault. Not his.

‘Fisticuffs’ plays Cirquest  until 11 February.

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