Write because you want to, not because you have to.
Overall rating: ★★★★1/2 Date attended: 07/03/2019
A GooD Catch's Casting Off shatters the stereotypes around people of varying ages, abilities, and agilities, as they bring together a trio of women, who perform dangerous acts of aerials, acrobatics and physical theatre in a lighthearted and humour-filled context that both entertains and surprises the audiences in so many different ways.
Handstands, balancing acts, hand-knitted and crochet blankets, and precariously placed furniture are the forte of this show with a decorated cast of women, which include ~30s aged acrobat and trapeze artist "Knit" (Spenser Inwood), ~late 50s aged Circus Oz veteran "Slip" (Debra Batton), and ~early 40s aged acrobat Pearl (Sharon Gruenert).
Staring the show in a relaxed and nonchalant manner (almost resembling a cuppa catch up), it quickly escalates to present with a friendly chat that is thrown into a mix of a performance that leaves you speechless. Jumping on top of each other, tumbling through the stage, and fitting in and out of haphazardly placed chairs and tables, these women defy the norms by giving us a show that is bold, highly unconventional, and will get your hearts racing in no time. Throughout the performance, the ladies also recite heartfelt stories of women, who have experienced things worthy of a hearty applause and sync it with complementary class acts of circus to showcase the movement and spirit of women, who continue to keep going on with their journeys and smashing the challenges that may be thrown along the way. Saving the best for last, we are treated to an epic finale that basically makes us wonder whether the rules of gravity apply to these women, as they do to us. From what we experienced, I'd dare say that the three women are supercharged with an ability to manipulate gravity, by finishing off their show with a spectacle of an acrobatic performance that almost made us quiver with excitement.
There are (several) moments that leave you at the edge of your seat, wondering if the ladies are doing the right thing, whether they will injure themselves in what appears to be far from a safe set up, and yet, just as difficult and unnerving as it is to watch them engage in those challenging acts, they simply bounce back up and seem unperturbed by their ability to balance the weight of one / two other women on themselves.
The 3-women dream team from Casting Off give 'intergenerational circus' a whole new dynamic, with their eclectic personalities, their sharp wit, their buckets of wisdom, their mind-blowing strength that has no bounds, and their powerful storytelling that connected with the audiences to the point where it moved most of us to tears. The standing ovation at the end of the show should be testament enough that they are one to watch at this year's Fringe season, especially if you're looking for a female-led circus show that will challenge the stereotypes around gender and present to you the true meaning of what it's like to be fierce, formidable, and feisty as heck.
Casting Off will be performing at Gluttony till March 17, as part of the Adelaide Fringe. Book your tix here.