Appearing in Melbourne throughout January, Brisbane contemporary circus group Circa have toured across 30 countries and 6 continents to roaring reviews. If you’re expecting a circus show from them, don’t. Circa performances blend theatre, acrobatics and dance into bizarre performances that leave a lasting impression. They are much more theatrical performances, with plots, characters and acting than the standard circus show you would expect. Circa believes that circus performance is a rich art that “can deeply touch audience and participants”, which is clear in the bizarre yet moving performances of their new show Beyond.
Beyond is the fifth show from Circa to be performed in Melbourne. Set to a bizarre soundtrack of show tunes, ballads and electronica, the show explores the fine line “between madness and sanity, between logic and dream”. Performing acrobatics while wearing fluffy bunny heads is sure to make an impression on an audience, which is one of the many reasons why Circa has been critically acclaimed while touring the show through six continents.
The sense of humour in Beyond’s props, quirks and storyline transforms it from a trick after trick circus show into a multi-dimensional theatre performance. Three small stages make the space intimate, giving the impression that the performers could yell and scream their way off the stage and straight into the crowd. They don’t, but when the seven performers jump around the stage and perform incredible acrobatic acts up close and personal, the performance is so encompassing it feels as if you are sitting on the stage.
The skill of the performers is nothing less than extraordinary and the real highlight of the show. Despite its theatrics, the majority of your time will be spent marvelling at the incredible acrobatic strength of the performers. Particular highlights include a blindfolded woman performing a handstand routine on stilts, and a man lifting four performers at once by having them wrap themselves around him without so much as breaking a sweat.
Beyond’s curious blend of cabaret, acrobatics and theatre makes it an unexpectedly thrilling adventure. Even with the performance’s abrupt descent into madness, it remains strangely charming, calming and impressive the whole way through. There are enough fluffy bunny heads and tricks for the kids, and enough theatrics to keep the adults entertained.
Go see Circa and be amazed. Or just go for motivation to get in shape.
Beyond will appear at the Melbourne Arts Centre until January 18.
Tickets are $39 for adult and $35 for concession.
Tuesday 13th January, 8pm
Wednesday 14th January, 8pm
Thursday 15th January, 8pm
Friday 16th January, 8pm
Saturday 17th January, 3pm
Saturday 17th January, 8pm
Sunday 18th January, 3pm