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Not your average circus, big-hearted, animal free, hilarious
Australian audiences will be head-over-heels for Circus Oz Photo: Rob Blackburn
Once again Circus Oz is serving up a show that is fun, skilled and artistically engaging. Celebrating its 35th birthday, Australia's best loved circus institution is 'Cranked Up', with a construction site providing inspiration.
Always topical, and with an eye for the quirky and irreverent, the Circus Oz troupe connects warmly with their audience, revelling in banter and good humour.
Seven people riding on a single bicycle. Foot juggling with balls, and a table (yes, a table). Trapeze including one troupe member climbing across two others while suspended in space. Someone disappearing into a common sized esky, and not coming out. Comic rollerskating to make your hair stand on end. A routine called 'toss the girl', in which she most certainly was. Juggling seven items simultaneously. Someone balancing on a board atop five unstable cylinders. Lots of dancing featuring wiggling bottoms. The most ridiculous magic routine you can imagine. A jam-packed big top having a rip-roaring time.
Toss-The-Girl is enough to make any mother worry. Photo: Rob Blackburn
Music plays a particularly strong role in this latest offering, with dualling guitars, a grand piano being played while suspended from the rig, and a mesmerising drum kit akin to a wrecking ball, swinging through tumbling acrobats.
While the first act is disconcertingly chaotic at times, and some of the dialogue rather lengthy, it is not enough to dampen the joy and fun that is palpable.
This is a joyous fun-filled show. Photo: Rob Blackburn
Circus Oz is not a mere circus, but a social justice movement, intent on making a positive difference to those least able to access entertainment. To this end more than 1000 asylum seekers have so far received tickets to their shows, and a project called BLAKflip to engage indigenous performers (three of whom are part of the current troupe) are testament to their commitment to social justice.
What are stool legs for? Juggling of course! Photo: Rob Blackburn