Big top performances have been tumbling their way into Melbourne this year, starting with the vivacious EMPIRE by Speigelworld, Montreal's TOTEM by Cirque du Soleil arriving at the end of the year and NICA's annual circus graduate showcase ROUGE et BLANC kicking off next week.
Right now though, Birrarung Marr plays host to Australia's very own international big top smash Circus Oz, in an all-new acrobatic show to spin your senses.
Performing under a heated big top to escape Melbourne's brisk winter, But Wait.. There's More by Circus Oz opened on 18 June and continues to run until 13 July; here are 7 reasons why you need to see it.
True blue, fair dinkum. Circus Oz has circled the globe from New York to New Delhi, Berlin to Bogota, yet originates from Australia, born right here in Melbourne in 1978. To celebrate that, expect Aussie jokes and references throughout the show. Circus Oz also promotes the best of the Australian spirit by supporting many charities and indigenous communities in financial donation. Look up and you will see the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags flying high above the big top, as Circus Oz embraces commitment to equality, actively recruiting Aboriginal members to the troupe by way of BLAKflip - an indigenous recruitment program that Circus Oz initiated in 2012.
You can take the whole crew to see Circus Oz knowing your kids will appreciate the show just as much as you will. Bright lights and music may disrupt really little ones, although saying that, we didn't have a problem taking our 8 month old baby along for circus enjoyment. Be warned though, if you'd rather avoid a child-heavy crowd, you would be better off choosing an evening performance starting at 7:30pm instead of a weekend afternoon show.
(l-r) Dale Woodbridge-Brown, Lilikoi Kaos and Candy Bowers. Photo credit Rob Blackburn
Circus Oz live music seriously rocks the tent. From hip-hop to rock, country music to electrifying techno beats rocking the big top, most music genres are covered, each tune attracting a nod and a toe tap from an appreciative crowd. You'll be hard pushed to keep still over the musical course of your Circus Oz journey, particularly with performers busting their groove along to the beats.
4. Nostalgic Stage Set
With its spectacular big top set, inspired by abandoned theatres left in tatters, But Wait…There's More is far from your average show, Circus Oz brings the feeling back of what a circus used to be. Inside the tent before you enter the theatre, you'll find market style stalls selling interesting Circus Oz merchandise (juggling balls, programs and the like), coupled with old fashioned popcorn sold in nostalgic boxes as you find your seat on wooden deck chairs and tables. Inside the theatre you are seated on plastic chairs placed in a ring around the centre stage as you are serenaded by vendors shouting "get your circus peanuts, get your ice cream.." as performers begin making their appearances before the stage show begins. Clever costumes are a combination of Steampunk and Vaudeville flair, mixing old with new suitably fitting the overall style of the show.
In-between acts, show hosts deliver political jabs at the commercially driven, fast paced world we live in today, humorously injecting adult humour into its theatrical extravaganza. Expect Aussie jokes too, as you chuckle away at references made to Kylie, Chris Lilley, Freedom furniture and Neighbours. But Wait.. There's More is as funny as it is skilled.
6. Alternative acts
As expected, the Circus Oz crew startle the audience with their stunt-jumping acrobatics, juggling, uni-cycling, hula hooping and flying trapeze, although highlights of the show would have to be Scott Hone, the BMX bike trickster, Ringmaster-ess groovster Candy Bowers with her booty-popping lion impersonation and beauty pageant mockery, and bar code jacketed clown Matt Wilson humorously disrupting the show with his antics.
What better city location can you get than right on the river. Circus Oz big top is perfectly positioned at Birrarung Marr, on the Yarra River's north bank in-between Federation Square and Batman Avenue, walking distance from Flinders Street Train Station if traveling on public transport, and plenty of parking options available nearby.
The Circus Oz crew deliver a delightful mix of breathtaking feats with engaging humour, dressed in clever costumes while performing to funky tunes that will have your whole family dancing in their sears. Head to ticketmaster.com.au or call 136 100 to book your tickets to But Wait.. There's More.
This sounded fantastic and I was ready to purchase tickets. This was posted on Friday 8th September in Melbourne Notes but I saw this particular show poster indicated it finished in July. Has the show been extended?