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Carnival of Lost Souls - Review

Home > Brisbane > Circus | Music | Performing Arts | Theatre
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
Event: -
Circus meets indie rock musical theatre style
Set in a circus of the late 19th century, Carnival of Lost Souls merges an indie-pop musical theatre style with classic and artistic circus performances to create a must-see show for lovers of either genre. Having toured around Australia the show ends here in Brisbane. Don't miss out.

There is always something new and interesting to be explored within the circus genre. Carnival of Lost Souls shows that more can be done in this area and with Lost Souls, you have a merging of great storytelling, good music and wow factor circus acts to tell the story of unrequited love and loss.

The production is designed to take you between this world of reality and the mystic world between life and death. There is a sense of 19th-century punk in the clothes coupled with an indie rock soundtrack that references numerous musical themes that you are sure to recognise, creating an ambience that evokes both the contemporary and the historic.

Staged at the La Boite Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove, it uses the intimate space well with seating in the round as well as cabaret-style seating on the stage itself. General admission tickets will are not assigned, so get there at least 20 minutes before the show starts so that you can get the seat of your choosing.

Seating at The Roundhouse Theatre is in the round
Seating at The Roundhouse Theatre is in the round

The Verdict

Carnival of Lost Souls sits in multiple worlds, that of the living and the dead, as well as circus and musical theatre. It also has a great contemporary musical feel with a modern indie rock sound but happily references musical themes from movies that instantly set the scene.

There is a story throughout the show and while it styles itself as musical theatre, it is more akin to modern dance in the way the story is told. As a result, the story starts off a little slow but builds nicely towards the last act in a journey to hell.

The acrobatic performances are all at a personal level and while they wow the audience they do more than that, they also are set within the character's own journeys. While some of these circus performances are run of the mill, many are something more and unexpected. There is a raw, catch your breath feeling to much of these parts of the act.

The cast is clearly divided between the singers and the circus performers, however at no point does this feel jarring as each has their role to play in the performance and they work together beautifully.

Ultimately the show works as a circus act, musical performance and as a dance and shows us that there is always something new that can be done with the popular circus genre. This is a mature show that does away with the gimmicks of circus and focuses more on the performance and mood but with plenty of circus wows.

It must be said that it is not a show for kids. While only mildly adult, the pacing is a little slow for the younger ones. In other words, the moody opening style and adult themes are not suitable for people under 15 years of age.

Before the show

The La Boite Roundhouse theatre is located in Kelvin Grove. The theatre doors open an hour before the show if you want a drink, coffee or a snack. There are several restaurants not far away up along Musk Avenue and adjoining streets. The only two bars in the area are The Menagerie on Carraway St or The Normanby Hotel back along Kelvin Grove Road.

Driving is easy with plenty of parking in the area. Public transport is a little trickier though: the bus stop at Normanby along the Inner Northern Busway is about 10 minutes walk away, and there are plenty of buses that run along Kelvin Grove Road servicing the nearby QUT Kelvin Grove Campus.

The bar at the Roundhouse Theatre
The bar at the Roundhouse Theatre

The writer attended as a guest of the show
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*Roy Chambers was invited as a guest
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Why? Circus meets indie rock musical theatre style
When: 8 pm
Where: La Boite Roundhouse Theatre in Kelvin Grove
Cost: General Admission $75
Your Comment
It sounds like a good combinations of performing arts.
by Bryony Harrison (score: 4|12398) 602 days ago
Wow Roy - you wrote up your review fast. It looks terrific.
by May Cross (score: 3|4858) 603 days ago
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