Internationally acclaimed apple-juggling spectacular Smashed performed for the first time in Australia last night at the Royal Croquet Club. The ensemble showcased their skills through intricate and thought-provoking choreography, rather than the clichéd addition of three, four, five juggling balls.
The performers’ timeless formal attire complimented the sparse stage, eclectically decorated with apples and intricate china tea sets. The soundtrack consisted of vintage songs from the 1940s, each of which complimented or commented on its accompanying routine. The moral of each act was conveyed predominantly through action, as the performers rarely resorted to dialogue. Through explosive onstage chemistry and choreographed ensemble juggling, they explored human anxieties, ambition and jealousy, depression and anger, lust and love, all the while keeping their apples soaring in the air.
With passions running high, the ensemble eventually reached a crescendo or breaking point. They abandoned their memorised routines, smashing their apples and carefully positioned china across the stage. Mental anguish fuelled their graceful yet destructive movements as they scattered the floor with debris. They screamed in infectious fury. Afterwards they stood in awkward silence for a moment, before retaking their places for their opening routine I’ve Always Wanted to Waltz in Berlin. Their smiles were perhaps a little strained the second time around, but proved that life (as well as the show) must go on despite our basic human insecurities.
This ensemble of talented performers will smash any preconceptions you may have about juggling. You will be captivated, incapable of glancing away.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: Royal Croquet Club – The Panama Club, Victoria Square, Adelaide
Season: 14 February – 14 March 2015
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $21.00 – $33.00 ($93.00 Family)
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)