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Circus Oz: But Wait ... There's More

Home > Melbourne > Circus | Family | Rainy Day | School Holidays | Theatre
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published June 18th 2015
Actually there is much, much more
Circus Oz
Image Supplied: Credit Rob Blackburn


Melbourne is fortunate to be the only Australian city to experience the return season of Circus Oz 's show, But Wait...There's More. Maybe because the company is back on its home turf.

I went last night and experienced that wonderful sense of inclusiveness that Circus OZ offers all comers. Arrive with a frown but by the time you leave, you can't come down.

Circus Oz
www.circusoz.comImage supplied Circus Oz - Credit Rob Blackburn -Circus Oz ensemble


The wrapped up cosy feeling of inclusiveness is partly to do with the venue. This is circus in the round, in this case a big top. No-one in the audience is far from the stage so there is feeling of being part of an extended family of performers.

This is a highly unique performing group, who all work and travel the world together and their sense of camaraderie is infectious.

Roué cyr featuring Derek Llewellin. Image Supplied: Credit Rob Blackburn


The group is also highly balanced in more than the acrobatic sense. There is a gender equality in the equal numbers of women and men. Some of the women may be small in stature, but they soon show how incredibly strong they are when you see them balance men on their shoulders or swing blokes by their arms on the trapeze. If there is a show that yells GIRLS CAN DO IT, this is it.

Unusually, for the entertainment industry, the girls are heathily full-bodied and confident and proud of their stature. Another positive role model for girls.

The troupe also features a number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders, with all their incredible talent throughout the show.

Your experience starts from the moment you enter the arena. All the ushers are characters, in their own right. as well as being part of the show. With their flamboyant clothes, looks and personalities they are a foretaste of all the greatness that it to come.

When you also see the lighting technicians scuttle up the towers, like squirrels on speed, you realise this is going to be one hell of a show.

Nothing disappoints in this human circus of acrobats, trapeze artists, unicyclists and incredibly characters.

The main theme is anti-commercialism. It is in the title, But Wait...There's More (a reference to those knife ads that sweeten the deal by piling on bonuses) and this is thoroughly mocked in a cut-throat knifing bonanza.

If anything, the show is a bit like the ABC's Chaser team's Checkout (also on speed, and jumping through hoops if that is possible to imagine.)

Unicycle adagio featuring Kyle Raftery and April Dawson. Image Supplied: Credit Rob Blackburn


Despite the theme most of the acts also stand alone. The sequence, most reviewers deservedly single-out and with good reason, is the unicycle duet of April Dawson and Kyle Raferty. They have the grace of ballet dancers twirling, arching and circling. Talk about poetry in motion.

Unicycle adagio featuring Kyle Raftery and April Dawson. Image Supplied: Credit Rob Blackburn


Then there is Lilikoi Kaos and her hoopla hoop act. I honestly lost count of her deluge of hoops she just kept circling her curvaceous hips and adding. Part of the effect was in her Bette Midler face pulling which had the audience in stitches.

Olivia Porter's ball routine was another standout. I have the feeling this girl is actually quite beautiful but her ability to hunch herself up and make herself into a hapless looking Happenstance makes for mesmerising viewing.

Image Supplied: Credit Rob Blackburn g


Some of the acts kids will really relate. There is the video game scene, a real send up of--there's more to life than sitting on a couch - get active. Then there is the farting skit with tuba and assorted mouth-popping noises that has the kids in stitches (and lI'll be the first to admit it, the adults as well.)

The multifarious skills this talented assortment of eccentric geniuses possess is beyond belief -- acrobatics, acting, clowning, stand-up comedy, playing musical instruments .......

Image Supplied: Credit Rob Blackburn g


I could go on but I don't want to give all the surprises away. So here is some other information that you might find useful for your visit.

Timing

The show goes for 2 hours (including 20 minute interval) and is in the spectacular Circus Oz Big Top

Don't Ignore the Souvenir Stand

As a parent one of the things I appreciate about Circus Oz is that they keep costs down for families. Ticket prices are reasonable and a kid with some pocket money can bring a couple of dollars and come away with some souvenirs such as a Circus OZ badge or temporary tattoo.

Parents will also find that if their children are inspired by the show (and they will be) there are reasonably prices hoops and juggling equipment to purchase so kids can "try this at home". Even programs ($10) seem reasonably priced in these days of crass commercialism.

Food and Drink

You might want to make a night of it and buy yourself some dinner. There are food trucks hidden behind tent flaps where you can buy lots of reasonably priced delights. Nom Nom was there, for example, and the hot doughnut van. Choc tops were only $5 and the kids could buy a bag of sweets for $1.50. A thoughtful touch was the water coolers supplying free water. Another anti-commercial quirk but much appreciated thanks Circus Oz.

Things you may not know about Circus Oz

Circus Oz, is a not-for-profit organisation.

One of the aims of Circus Oz is to sustain artists by providing reasonable wages but also to pursue social justice while providing a good time for all.

The company offers over 1900 tickets across Sydney and Melbourne for people in challenging circumstances. A couple of the organisations helping them with their distribution include the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Melbourne City Mission, the Starlight Foundation and Victorian Aboriginal Health Services.

Another reason Circus Oz is loved and adored.

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Why? Wonderful, warm inclusive entertainment
When: Season 17 June – 12 July 2015
Phone: Bookings ticketmaster.com.au or 136 100
Where: Birrarung Marr, Melbourne (between Federation Square and Batman Avenue)
Cost: Tickets $22 – $95 (plus booking fees)
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