Two people sitting on a wooden crate, back to back, having a snack.
Circus, Fringe World, Fringe World Sessions 2019, News, Performing arts

Feats for hands and feet

Perth-born juggler Jeromy Zwick and Finnish tightwire dancer Liisa Näykki are united by their love of circus… and each other. As circus duo Hands Some Feet they bring together their respective specialities alongside acrobatics, physical theatre,  skipping ropes and live music.

Ahead of their 2019 Fringe World season, Seesaw managed to catch Zwick and Näykki with their feet on the ground long enough for a quick Q&A.

A woman standing on a man's shoulders.
Jeromy Zwick & Liisa Näykki. Photo: Michael James.

Seesaw: Tell us about your training…
Jeromy Zwick: We both went to the National Circus School of Belgium in Brussels (E.S.A.C.) where we met each other, although it took another three years before we realised that we had fallen for one another. We completed an amazing yet very tough three-year Bachelor of Circus Arts program there. We didn’t just work with some of the best specialised circus teachers in the world but we were also trained in physical theatre, dance and many other skills, in order for us to graduate as professional circus artists. But we continue to learn something new every day as this job has such variety that goes beyond doing circus and being on stage.

S: Career highlight so far?
JZ: Well, there are many. For us both it would be being able to create our own show (this one) and have total artistic control of our own material, which is so great. We just love being on stage and performing this show.

S: Career lowlight?
JZ: For me  it would have be when I was told that my entire tour with another company had to be cancelled due to an injury within the group and I was suddenly out of work when I thought I would have steady work with them for at least the next three years. Liisa had a similar thing happen to her which just goes to show that an artistic profession can often be very unstable and unpredictable.

S: What do you love most about what you do?
JZ: Waking up in the morning and knowing that we are lucky enough to have fulfilled our dream of becoming professional circus artists. We don’t have to look back one day and think, “If only we took that hard road to really commit to our dream.” Now we can just be so happy that we did and we can start enjoying the benefits of all those years of hard work . Nothing beats the joy and pure pleasure of being on stage in front of an audience. The equal giving and receiving between the performer and the audience member is such a magical thing.

S: What has been your funniest career moment so far?
JZ: We once performed at a Finnish porridge party (yep, you read that right, a party with porridge). It’s like a pre-Christmas party where they serve a giant pot of rice porridge. Just after our performance Santa Claus made his appearance from Lapland.

S: You performed at Fringe World last year too. What drew you back?
JZ: Our first Fringe World experience was such a welcoming and heart-warming one that there was no question in our minds at all, when presented with the opportunity, that we would return with our updated and re-worked show.

S: Tell us about Hands Some Feet’s 2019 show 
JZ: Our show is a fresh, quirky and energetic contemporary circus show powered completely by our passion to create together. We combine our two specialised circus techniques of tightwire and juggling, hence the name “Hands some Feet” me being the hands as a juggler and Liisa being the feet as a tightwire dancer. The word “some” describes all that other “meat around the bones” making the show rich and full with pair acrobatics, physical theatre, skipping ropes and live music.

One of the biggest inspirations for the show comes from a special word found only in the Finnish language: Hepuli. Hepuli means to have a negative or positive burst of emotion, the kind that even the most civilised great ape cannot withstand. In our show we deliver a universal interpretation of young couples under the spell of hepuli.

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
JZ: As I am a Perth boy, I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends during the time at Fringe, as most of them are also circus artists. It’s such a nice opportunity for many of us to return from all the four corners of the globe, find ourselves back together in Perth, watch each other perform and see how we’ve all developed as individual artists.

S:What is your favourite part of the playground
JZ: I do love a good swing from time to time, and I have a really strong urge to jump on any swing I pass by. I guess I’m held back by the fact that I’m an adult now, although to be honest that doesn’t usually stop me.
LN: I’ve always loved all the climbing parts on playgrounds, climbing frames, monkey bars etc.

Hands Some Feet plays at the Black Flamingo at Yagan Square, February 5 – 17

Pictured top: Liisa Näykki and Jeromy Zwick. Photo: Michael James.

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Comedy, Fringe World, Fringe World Sessions 2019, News, Performing arts

From sex worker to comedian

Bella Green has worked in brothels, strip clubs, peepshows, dungeons, massage parlours and adult shops… and she’s here to tell the tale. Her debut show Bella Green Is Charging for It combines stand up, sketch comedy and storytelling to provide a window into the world of sex work… and she’s got some surprising answers to the questions you didn’t know you had. Seesaw caught up with Green to find out more.

Bella Green on stage.
Bella Green

Seesaw: When did you first know that you wanted to be a comedian?
Bella Green: I’ve wanted to be on stage for as long as I can remember, but I wasn’t sure how or why. I didn’t know I wanted to do comedy until I was about 30. I had no idea I was funny, I just knew my Facebook statuses were good.

S: Tell us about your training…
BG: I used to tell jokes to anyone who’d listen at the brothel where I work. When I realised I wanted to be a comic, I took some improv. classes for confidence and then I hit the open mic comedy circuit.

S: Describe your artistic practice…
BG: I don’t know that I have a creative practice! I just scrawl weird joke concepts into a notebook at 3am while eating gnocchi in bed.

S: What do you love most about what you do?
BG: I love destigmatising sex work. Showing audiences that sex workers are just regular people is so fulfilling.

S: Career highlight so far?
BG: Being nominated for Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe 2018.

S: Funniest career moment so far?
BG: I opened a stand-up set with a joke about roller derby and a nice middle-aged man yelled out that his daughter played derby and did I know her? Turns out I do! I then moved into my sex work material and the poor guy was so horrified. I almost had to reassure him that his daughter isn’t out turning tricks.

S: What made you decide to give Fringe World a whirl?
BG: Perth is my hometown. To quote Kendrick Lamar “I was contemplatin’ gettin’ on stage / just to go back to the hood, see my enemy, and say where you when I was walkin’?”

S: Tell us about your show Bella Green is Charging For It
BG: Bella Green Is Charging For It is a journey of stand-up, storytelling and sketch through the surprisingly mundane but always hilarious world of sex work, where the heels are high, the carpet is sticky and the customer is probably wrong. I’ve worked in brothels and strip clubs, peepshows and dungeons, massage parlours and adult shops, but my most degrading job of all was the three months I spent in a call centre for a “Big Four” bank. The show will answer all the questions you never thought to ask about sex work. Like, why is paying for sex so similar to ordering a salad? What really goes on in a peepshow? And how can you get away with wearing uggs while being a cold, hard dominatrix?

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
BG: I can’t wait to hit up that silent disco.  I’m also very excited to see Two Girls, One CuckRose, Donna and Nick are all brilliant up-and-coming stand-ups.

S: What is your favourite part of the playground?
BG: The swings! I used to launch myself off the swing set at the park as a kid and pretend to have broken my arm for any stranger that walked past. I was born to be on stage.

Bella Green Is Charging for It plays Deluxe at Yagan Square, 5 – 17 February. 

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3 men making music at night in the Bush
Calendar, Fringe World, Music, Performing arts, story telling

Music: One Sky, Many Stories

9 & 10 February @ The Edith Spiegeltent, Yagan Square ·
Presented by Michael Sollis & The Griffyn Ensemble ·

‘Akin to a religious experience’ – The Australian

Take a spellbinding journey to the far reaches of the galaxy with one of Australia’s most prolific indigenous songwriters Warren H Williams and members of the acclaimed Griffyn Ensemble. Discover western and indigenous astronomy through a synthesis of masterful storytelling, music and short film.

What do the stars mean to you? Where do all we come from, and what will we all become? What is unique about our own Australian sky, and how does it reflect our landscape?

These are some of the thought-provoking questions that inspire audiences as they explore their relationship to the night sky, indigenous culture and the world around us. Enter our world for an evening of mystery and delight and emerge transformed. One Sky, Many Stories, developed in Tennant Creek, sparks conversation, creativity and inspiration long after the final curtain drops.

Appropriate for all ages and curious minds.

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/one-sky-many-stories-fw2019

Pictured: One Sky, Many Stories: Barkly Regional Arts

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Fisticuffs
Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Circus: Fisticuffs

14 – 17 February @ The Black Flamingo, Yagan Square ·
Presented by Sven Hopla ·

A circus theatre that follows and abstract narrative dissecting circus, masculinity and the relationship between audience and performer whilst using aerial acrobatics, dance and physical theatre to tell the tale.

More info
W: www.lifesbestsword.wix.com/svencircus
E:  lifesbestsword@hotmail.com

Pictured: Fisticuffs, credit Hanna Dunn

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Hands some Feet
Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Circus: Hands some Feet

5 -17 February @ The Black Flamingo @ Yagan Square ·
Presented by Hands some Feet ·

Hands some Feet is a dynamic and fresh contemporary circus show, seamlessly combining the mastery of juggling and tightwire. Complemented by innovative
instruments of Australia and Finland.

“The performance was a wonderful and entertaining experience with incredible
feats of acrobatics, juggling and coordinated skills.” ★★★★½ —FringeFeed 2018

Trailer: www.vimeo.com/299229252

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/hands-some-feet-fw2019

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Bella Green is Charging for It
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Bella Green Is Charging For It

5-17 February @ Deluxe @ Yagan Square ·
Presented by Bella Green ·

Fresh from a sold-out season and a nomination for Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe 2018, comedian, writer and sex worker Bella Green is bringing her much-talked about debut show Bella Green Is Charging For It to Fringeworld for the first time.

Charging For It is a funny, fast-paced look at Bella’s life as a sex worker told through stand-up, sketch comedy and storytelling. This show delves into the everyday minutiae of what goes into sex work, answering all the questions that you always wanted to ask but were too afraid to. Questions like; why is paying for sex so similar to ordering a salad? What really goes on in a peepshow? And how can you get away with wearing Uggs while being a cold, hard dominatrix?

Bella has worked in brothels and strip clubs, peepshows and dungeons, massage parlours and adult shops, but her most degrading job so far is still the three months she spent working in a call centre for one of the Big Four banks.

Check your inhibitions and shyness at the door for this no-holds bar comedy show and join Bella on a high-energy romp through the surprisingly mundane but always hilarious world of sex work, where the heels are high, the carpet is sticky, and the customer is usually wrong.

“…A genuinely clever, charming and polished show… authentic, hilarious, and uplifting…a gutsy, refreshing show that earns its laughs by elevation and not by depreciation”. WEEKEND NOTES

Bella Green Is Charging For It is directed by Caitlyn Staples of sketch troupe Hit By A Blimp (nominated for Best Comedy at Melbourne Fringe 2017).

A seasoned writer, comedian and improviser, Bella Green is a writer and performer for the house sketch troupe at The Improv Conspiracy, and appeared as part of the Lemon Comedy and Safety House showcases at MICF 2018. She regularly performs stand-up in some of Melbourne’sbest comedy rooms, appearing recently at Catfish Comedy and Crab Lab.

More info
W: www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/bella-green-is-charging-for-it-fw2019
E:  ali@limelightconsulting.com.au

 

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Galentine's Day Gala
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Galentine’s Day Gala

13 February @ The Shoe Bar & Cafe, Yagan Square ·
Presented by Laugh Resort Inc.·

On Valentine’s Day eve, bring your girl gang, your bestie, or come make new pals at this all gal comedy love-in. To cap off the Laugh Resort’s month of Wednesday night fringe fun, Perth’s longest running comedy institution presents a fine selection of local and visiting festival comedians of the female persuasion.

In an all new city location, share good times and great laughs with a line-up of today’s and tomorrow’s comedy stars, on the stage that helped launch the likes of Mel Buttle and Claire Hooper.

Hosted by Famous Sharron, it promises a positively fabulous night of all gal funnies with plenty of surprise treats.

More info
W: www.bit.ly/GalentinesGala
E:  thelaughresort@gmail.com

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Pupperotica Foreplay
Calendar, Comedy, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Pupperotica: Foreplay

18 – 31 January @ Megamouth in Yagan Square ·
Presented by Umbrella Works Inc ·

After three increasingly inappropriate editions, Fringe’s naughtiest puppets are back and more debauched than ever! Join Brad, Granny, Layla, Yusef and more as they bust out all new saucy readings, sexy songs and the full frontal puppet nudity you definitely didn’t know you needed. They’re here to test the limits of the terms ‘erotic’, ‘literature’and ‘common decency’, they are… Pupperotica!

More info
W: https://www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/pupperotica-foreplay-fw2019
E:  rubberchickentime@gmail.com

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Michael Shafar
Cabaret, Calendar, Fringe World, Performing arts

Comedy: Michael Shafar – 50/50

29 Jan – 3 Feb @ Deluxe @ Yagan Square ·
Presented by Michael Shafar ·

As heard on ABC’s Comedy Bites & triple j’s Good Az Friday. Writer for Channel 10’s The Project.

After sold out seasons in 2017-2018, Michael Shafar returns to Perth with a brand new show that is his most personal, raw and hilarious one yet. In 2017 Michael was diagnosed with cancer and, fortunately, it has given him a lot of material. Don’t worry, this show is funny. It’s definitely not a Ted Talk.

“If you love to laugh, Shafar is the ‘go to’ guy” ★★★★★ Glam Adelaide
“Still laughing a day later” ★★★★½ The Plus Ones
“Jokes that set the room on fire with laughter” ★★★★½ The Australia Times
“Tasty, topical and with extra bite” ★★★★ The Age
“Clever, informed, witty and well-crafted” ★★★★ Beat Magazine
“He is really very good” ★★★★ Funny Tonne
“Mel Brooks would have been proud” Herald Sun
“The pace is tight… knocking the punchlines out at a prodigious rate” Chortle UK

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/michael-shafar-50-50-fw2019

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A man doing magic
Calendar, Circus, Fringe World, Performing arts

Circus: The Quizzical Mr Jeff

22 – 27 January @ The Black Flamingo at Yagan Square ·
Presented by the Quizzical Mr Jeff ·

Floating crystal balls, optical illusions, 6 foot balloon, and a whole lot of hats… Unleash your imagination this festival with The Quizzical Mr Jeff. Empowered by his playfully perplexing fusion of circus and magic, Mr Jeff will take you on a mischievous and memorable journey of the mind and is perfect fun for the whole family.

Our debonair object-manipulator explores endearing new forms of circus while pushing at the boundaries of the imagination. Watch as his highly visual brand of storytelling and play unfolds before your eyes drawing you into a world of wonder for all ages and all states of mind.

Dazzling skills, showmanship and charm will leave you delighted, amused and utterly bamboozled! The enchanting world of The Quizzical Mr Jeff these school holidays, awaits.

More info:
www.fringeworld.com.au/whats_on/the-quizzical-mr-jeff-fw2019

 

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