Fringe World review: Odds and Ends Circus, Let’s Get Wild ·
Big Top at the Woodside Pleasure Garden, 20 January ·
Review by Rosalind Appleby ·
It was the Holy Grail of juggling batons, shimmering gold in the distance. The two performers ran slow-mo through the audience to grab it. They then juggled and squabbled over it, but not before an entertaining Indiana Jones boulder chase around the stage while the soundtrack gave the impression the whole circus tent was collapsing.
It’s hard to put into words and that’s the gift Bede Nash and Leigh Rhodes bring to the stage. Their circus act Let’s Get Wild transforms ordinary things like a juggling baton, rubber gloves or a skipping rope into a high energy adventure. The young Victorian-based performers are graduates from the National Institute of Circus Arts and founders of Odds and Ends Circus group. Their polished show, loosely based around an explorers theme, includes a range of stunts from juggling, acrobatics, hula hoops, bounce juggling and tumbling.
Backed by a well-chosen soundtrack (everything from Ride of the Valkyrie’s to the Wedding March) they grinned and goofed their way through some spectacular and genuinely funny stunts. Skipping while seated, dancing the tango with inflated rubber glove chickens, one handed balances on the other’s head; their energy lit up the Big Top in the Woodside Pleasure Gardens, drawing cheers from children and adults alike. The favourites from our crew were the back flips, juggling and hoops, while the adults appreciated the Raiders of the Lost Ark references. Nash’s lean flexibility and expressive face gave him a Dick Van Dyke charisma, while Rhodes was a mix of playful exuberance and comic timing. I’m putting the occasional drops and second attempts down to the scorching 42′ temperature. Given the heat and the sweat pouring from them the fact Nash and Rhodes completed the routine without passing out was a feat in itself!
Definitely worth checking out (especially now the forecast is looking more moderate!) with children aged 3-10.
Pictured top: Bede Nash with hula hoops. Photo: Rosalind Appleby