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Circus Oz - Twentysixteen

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by Jeni Wilson (subscribe)
Teacher educator and author of many teacher reference books. Amused by random ideas and loves random acts of kindness. Enjoys writing humour...seriously!Please see my Instagram: wilsonjeni
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A Circus With Its Own Personality & Cheeky Humour
'The circus is real people doing extraordinary stuff. It's inspiring to watch because it pushes people to question what is possible. There's no replay button, no seven-second delay, no trickery it is just really great tricks'. Anni Davey, Guest Show Director



Circus lovers, line up because Circus Oz are coming to town with their newShow: TWENTYSIXTEEN. Whether you are new to Circus Oz or an old fan, the show promises to be new and innovation.

I had the pleasure of speaking to Deb Batton, the Touring Show Director, who told me that Circus Oz is unlike any other circus. 'It's been around for 30 years and been reinvented in a way that it could possibly be a game changer. It combines ideas of theatre, politics, and circus without animals and it's just fantastic entertainment'.



Circus Oz is rooted in Australian culture, they delight in larrikinism and are not precious about long traditions. This gives their circus are great deal of freedom. Further she said, that they're highly skilled artist also bring a sense of comedy to the act as well.

Deb said they have been honing their presentation skills of contemporary circus now for three decades and Circus Oz is responsible for spawning many other circuses.

One of their points of difference, says Deb, is that not many small circuses can have such big apparatus. She says they have the most fun in the world and you end up with a show that has something for everyone. Deb said that this is a great show for kids and the whole family because there are layers of humour that only adults will get. But somehow the show still works for pre-verbal, young people and even teenagers - a hard audience in my opinion.

Clowns, contemporary circus, circus with a live band, juggling, circus acts, non animal circus, acrobats, comedy, human cannonball and other stunts, slapstick comedy,


For loyal audiences who have been to Circus Oz before, you will be equally thrilled with the mix of classic circus acts and other new twists. Deb said that as well as tremendous athletic she is proud of the feel of the show, which she says, is very different and very creative. She believes that Circus Oz has a unique ability to make each experience feel completely different.

Unlike other circuses Circus Oz has their own live band, which means they can respond quickly to live performance needs and they have plenty of wiggle room to playfully adapt to spontaneous moments.

Circus Oz's youngest performer is 20 years old and their oldest is 50 years old. Each of the women in the show is incredibly strong which Deb said is a hallmark of the show. The women take on roles other than just being a beautiful flyer. She believes it makes women and girls feel like they can be and do anything.

Deb is passionate about Circus Oz is contemporary performance. She says it's all about taking ideas and reinventing them in a dream-like way into surreal territory. Most of all the circus is about being in the moment and having fun.

Clowns, contemporary circus, circus with a live band, juggling, circus acts, non animal circus, acrobats, comedy, human cannonball and other stunts, slapstick comedy,


A Long History

Circus Oz started in Melbourne in 1978 as an amalgamation of two already successful Australian groups, Soapbox Circus and the New Circus. For over 35 years Circus Oz has been touring nationally and internationally. They have received critical acclaim in 27 countries across five continents. They have broken box office records at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and represented Australia at many, many international festivals.

These turbo charged performers defying the laws of physics. There's something for everyone including the flying trapeze, the Chinese pole, the unicycle adagi, rock'n'roll, and a brand new group-juggling act. This is a highly skilled, experienced, collaborative and interactive performance with a live Aussie band.

Circus Oz has a strong belief in tolerance, diversity and human kindness. For many years the company has been supporting many charities, indigenous communities and a good time for all. They have raised over $392,000 in donations to support refugees and asylum seekers.

Clowns, contemporary circus, circus with a live band, juggling, circus acts, non animal circus, acrobats, comedy, human cannonball and other stunts, slapstick comedy,


Circus Oz Classes
Have you ever imagined yourself scaling a pole, flying through the air, hula hooping more than one hoop or being part of a human pyramid? No? Well, I bet you know someone who would love it! Circus Oz have a lot of great opportunities for the public to get involved in an exciting range of circus classes available for adults, teens and kids. Circus is a non-competitive, fun way to get active and stay fit, with a friendly and supportive environment for beginners through to advanced participants.

They also offer Programs For Schools, Special Occasions and corporate team building. These are fun, fast-paced one-day or full-length action-packed term-long programs.

Blakflip And Beyond

From its beginning, Circus Oz has been committed to the cause of land rights and reconciliation with Australia's First Peoples, both as an organisation and through our work.

"Over the past five years, we have been busy solidifying our new Indigenous Program, BLAKflip and Beyond. This is a broad strategy intended to build stronger connections, influence and collaboration with the First Peoples of this land."

Clowns, contemporary circus, circus with a live band, juggling, circus acts, non animal circus, acrobats, comedy, human cannonball and other stunts, slapstick comedy,
Blakflip Crew


The BLAKflip program has provided a pathway for talented Indigenous performers to be identified, mentored and supported as potential members of the Circus Oz ensemble. This highly successful program, has so far resulted in over 30 participants in the annual master classes, with three being cast into the performing ensemble in Circus Oz.

In November 2014 they celebrated BLAKflip with a performance outcome Corked Up. This was the first ever Indigenous Australian, adult circus show.

Other Twenty Sixteen dates are:


Launceston, TAS: 17 September
Hobart, TAS: 23 24 September
Darebin, VIC: 28 - 29 September
Frankston, VIC: 8-9 October
Bendigo, VIC: 15 October
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*Jeni Wilson was invited as a guest
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When: 28 & 29 Sept. Wednesday 7:30pm, Thursday 1:30pm & 7:30pm
Phone: 9676 0300
Where: Darebin Arts Centre, Bell and St Georges Road, Preston
Cost: $35 Adults and $17.50 Children
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