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Interview: Ringmaster Simon Tait, Silvers Circus

 

Slivers CircusTouted as one of the top 10 circuses in the world, Silvers Circus is more than a troupe of artists travelling Australia. Ringmaster Simon Tait explains Silvers is “a large family oriented group who all look out for each other.” This month, the Silvers Circus family opens their big-top in Bonython Park to entertain your family.

The circus-bug called to Tait when he was 21 and fresh out of acting school.  Upon seeing a fantastic mime as a clown in a circus, Tait explains, “I went and asked if I could become his apprentice. I left my family in Rockhampton and off I went. I haven’t looked back. I completely fell in love with it.”

Travelling for 11 out of 12 months every year, Silvers Circus has most recently worked its way west from Melbourne, through Horsham and now into Adelaide from Thursday 10 April 2014. Audiences so far have been delighted by the skilled performances first and foremost, but also for the production elements of sound, lighting and costuming.

Established by Swiss-born circus performers Anna and Anton Gasser, the Silvers Circus family includes performers from Argentina, Brazil, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia, making it a truly multicultural production.

“We have an international cast, but wherever the performer comes from, circus people feel they are in a safe environment. We always support and love each other and protect each other furiously,” says Tait.

Tait explains that Silvers is “a human skill oriented circus. We’re talking high wires, juggling, acrobatics and Las Vegas style illusions.”

Keeping with the times of a modern-day circus era, Silvers has recreated the big-top you might imagine, a saw-dust filled ring, but the audience will step into a big top that is “like a theatre with red carpets. We have an elevated stage so everyone can see what is happening. Behind that ring is another stage where we perform the illusions,” explains Tait.

Audiences can expect a fun and at times, suspenseful delight for the eye, with acts to appeal to everyone. “We have the Wheel of Steel – a very large apparatus, which boys run around the outside of, one on each side. It is almost like a giant mouse trap and it is scary. Then there is Gypsy Gomez from Argentina, who spins up to 80 hula hoops at a time. She’s four-foot nothing and a little power house. Her performance is dynamic, with high energy pumping music. After watching, you will feel like you have done an aerobics workout.”

Other crowd pleasing favourites are the AFL-playing boxer dogs, which Tait describes as “the gymnasts and comedians of the canine world.” Additionally, there are high-wires, elevated gymnastics displays, magic and the electrifying Globe of Death, where three motorbikes spin frenetically inside around a three and a half metre steel globe. It’s a stunt not for the faint-hearted, but certainly not one to be missed either, explains Tait.

“The guys in the globe have practiced for months. I asked one day, how do you know where each other are without peripheral vision due to the helmets? He replied, I just listen for the revs. It’s a very scary thing and it’s precision art not to be taken lightly.”

The spectacle that is Silvers Circus opens Thursday 10 April 2014 in the big top in Bonython Park before moving on to Elizabeth in May.

Venue 1: Bonython Park, Adelaide
When: 10 April – 11 May 2014
Venue 2: The Putting Green, Elizabeth
When: 14 – 25 May 2014
Duration: 2 hours 10 minutes
Tickets: $25 – $30
Bookings: Book through Ticketmaster

 

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