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9 Big Top Acts at Hoopla Festival 2013

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by Lionel (subscribe)
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Published March 16th 2013
9 Big Top Acts at Hoopla Festival 2013
Photo courtesy of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

The Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority is transforming Darling Harbour into a fun-tastic venue for kids and adults this coming Easter long weekend with the nation's premier circus and street performance festival. HOOPLA promises to deliver some of the most exciting international and local street theatre, circus antics, hilarious comedy capers and heart-stopping stunts ever seen in Australia.

Photo by Eduardo M. C. of Flickr

Residents and visitors to Sydney will be in for 4 days and 3 nights of family-friendly entertainment featuring some of the hottest shows and fringe-flavoured performances in town from 12pm to 9.40pm on Friday, 29 March to Sunday, 31 March and 12pm to 5.45pm on Monday, 1 April. Here are 9 "Big Top" acts that will be featuring at HOOPLA this Easter long weekend. For more information about HOOPLA at Darling Harbour, visit the official website.

Flipside Circus
Photo courtesy of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Flipside Circus, Queensland's leading youth circus with a cast of 14 performers aged from just 9 to 18 will make its debut Sydney performance at HOOPLA's Big Top with their contemporary circus work "Identité". Suitable for all ages, the day-time show explores the theme of identity, youth and growing up through a visual display of amazing aerials, acrobatics and other circus favourites.

The founding of Flipside Circus in 1998 was inspired by Australian youth circus legend Dr. Reg Bolton. The Circus has performed at the Adelaide Fringe Festival, Woodford Folk Festival and Brisbane Festival and also operates a training centre that offers 20 after-school classes each week and an extensive school holiday workshop program. For more information, visit the Circus' website.

Photo from Flipside Circus

Lisa Lottie

Photo by Lisa Lottie

In short acts of less than 30 minutes each, HOOPLA's mini-theatre tent Castello will play host to world-class contortionist and hula-hoopist Lisa Lottie from the Netherlands. Born in Amsterdam, she holds a degree in circus from The Circus Space in London and trained at 'Escola national de Circo' in Rio de Janeiro.

Photo by Lisa Lottie

Lisa is known for her contortion and aerial hoop acts at street festivals, corporate events, cabarets and supper clubs. She has performed in 29 countries and over 100 cities with her show 'Bend it like Barbie' and her videos have over 1.5 million hits on Youtube. She currently resides in London and Melbourne. To bend backwards with Lisa, visit her website.

Full Cream Circus
Photo by Full Cream Circus

Visitors need look no further than John Henry's Full Cream Circus for an unpretentious, cheeky, and confronting evening under the HOOPLA Big Top. This rare collaboration of internationally renowned performers from Cirque de Soleil, Legs on the Wall and Circus Oz are some of Australia's best performers who push their bodies to hyper-extension and master feats of great strength.

Enhanced by dance, music, theatre and circus, this lean, mean and amazing performing machine will have you glued to your seats. To be part of their fantastic journeys, both real and imagined, check out their facebook page -

Photo courtesy of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Ruby Rubberlegs

Photo by chooyutshing of Flickr

The business of contortionism involves the dramatic bending and flexing of the human body. In the case of Ruby Rubberlegs (Rani Huszar), the ability to get smaller has taken the physical display to the next level. This young woman can actually squeeze her entire body through a mirror frame and fold herself into a small ball inside a glass box that would be claustrophobic for most goldfish. It's simply eye and mind boggling.

Photo by chooyutshing of Flickr

Rani has been captivating audiences in over 20 countries with her unique and quirky physical theatre productions in the last 13 years. She has appeared at the Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide Royal Shows, the Oeral Festival in the Netherlands, the Del Mundo Festival in Belgium and the Street Buskers Festival in Singapore. Be amazed, bemused, confused and enthralled as Ruby Rubberlegs perform a romantic comedy of errors at HOOPLA. For more supreme contortionism, visit Rani's website.

Tumble Circus
Photo by Tumble Circus

Families visiting HOOPLA will find Irish circus group, Tumble Circus, balancing precariously above the audience at Ringside, Palm Grove where the dynamic duo, Tina Segner and Ken Fanning will deliver an edgy performance. The backstory of the show is on the premise that these 2 career partners are engaged in a domestic dispute that transcends into their hula hoops and juggling pins and the mutual hostility manifests through their highwire rope acts.

The duo met in Dublin in the 1990s when Tina left Sweden in search of adventure and Ken moved on from Belfast. Together they have spent a 100,000 hours of flirting competitively with the audience, fighting, making up and egging each other on stage. Be prepared to watch in awe as comedic duo Ken and Tina come together in a beautiful, mid-air disaster of slapstick acrobatics and flying hula-hoops at HOOPLA. For more information, visit the Tumble Circus website.

Photo by Tumble Circus

California - Russia's Best Kept Secret
Photo by California and The Girls

Be prepared to bend over laughing as ex-Russian spy California hosts an infomercial to parody the rich and famous that you can't pause. Comic character California's creator Tahmour is a professional entertainer, circus artist and comedienne who is witty and physically funny, with a glass balanced on her head and a hula hoop on one foot.

She has been entertaining crowds all over the world for nearly 10 years and performs her show in five languages. "Russia's Best Kept Secret" packed houses at the Adelaide Fringe in 2012 and is expected to draw crowds at HOOPLA's mini-theatre tent Castello. For more information about Tahmour, check out her website.

Photo by California and The Girls

Snuff Puppets

Photo by Snuff Puppets

HOOPLA's roving street performers offer hilarity and disarray outdoors and none more disembodied than Snuff Puppets. This 20 year old puppet company based in Melbourne is renowned for its purposefully handmade Frankensteinian abominations that celebrate the abject, the scatological and the perverse. Snuff Puppets combine the elements of puppetry, live music, visual and physical theatre to create loads of cartoon humour.

Photo by Snuff Puppets

Snuff Puppets will arrive ay HOOPLA like a circus, parading and using their roaming performances to entice audiences. So keep an eye out for their shuffling giant Human Body Parts – hand, mouth, nose, foot, ear and eye – as the disembodied giants move about Darling Harbour with a mind of their own. For more information, check out the Snuff Puppets website.

Sharon Mahoney
Sharon Mahoney / Photo by Charles Gervais

Award-winning Canadian comic and acclaimed street performance artist Sharon Mahoney will be performing in the International Street Performers Pitch at Harbourside Amphitheatre. Originally from Oakville, Ontario, her career began when she was 10 and began doing street performances in 1999.

Sharon has performed her solo character-based show for street, stage, cabaret and festivals across the globe as her madcap alter-ego, Miss Tallulah. Dressed like a street clown, Miss Tallulah is sure to pleased kids and adults alike. For more information about Sharon, visit her website.

Photo by planmyplay of Flickr

The Circus Playground by Circusworks
Photo courtesy of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Circusworks has been bringing the dazzling display of street shows, circus skills, roving performances, entertaining characters and interactive workshops to kids and adults alike for the past 14 years.

Their Circus Playground at HOOPLA will offer everyone loads of juggling toys, unicycles, spinning and balancing things, and stilts in an interactive circus workshop environment filled with rainbow silk bunting, colourful flags, inflatable sunshades and music.

Under the supervision of Circusworks' instructors, the whole family can play and learn a variety of circus skills including diabolos, devilsticks, hula-hoops, hand-held stilts, juggling things (balls, clubs, rubber chickens), rola-bolas, stilts, twirling things and walking beams. It is also a fun confidence building activity for kids and teaches hand-eye coordination and balance in an informal and safe environment.

Photo courtesy of Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Grab the family and head down to HOOPLA to learn to juggle, stilt-walk, hula hoop and walk the balance beam with the circus experts. For more information, visit the Circusworks website.
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Why? 9 Big Top acts that are sure to wow everyone, young and old, big and small.
When: 12pm to 9.40pm on Friday, 29 March to Sunday, 31 March and 12pm to 5.45pm on Monday, 1 April
Where: Darling Habour, Sydney
Cost: Varies according to shows. For ticket prices and purchase, visit
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