On a stage lined with suitcases, a fairy floss machine is in full swing, the cast selling the spun sugar on a stick before the action begins. The dimly lit stage, the rag tag performers, and their haphazard interaction with the audience give a feel of lost souls eager to please. In the opening moments of the show proper, a man cries.
The broody staging of this wonderful circus sets it apart from the others as music, ethereal at times, serves as a backdrop to the nightmarish, comical and seasoned feats.
Ensemble work forms a big part of the action. Azaria Universe (Burlesque Hour), Jess Love (La Soiree/La Clique), vaudevillian clown Derek Ives (Circus Oz) and strongman DJ Garner (Cirque du Soleil) are marvellous in both their individual acts and as a team. The old fashioned plank gag, using a ladder, is a well-executed nod to the era they’re embodying.
The fairy floss from the beginning is almost a fifth character in the show, ever-present and often making unexpected appearances within the acts. There is ample comedy in the macabre antics, made all the more sweeter by the ongoing appearance of the candy. The sweet appears representative of the characters’ simplistic needs and adds a child-like joy to an otherwise adult entertainment.
Avoid sitting in the corners of The Big Top, as the rigging will obstruct your view.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis, Performing Arts Critic, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: The Big Top, Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park, Adelaide
Season: 15 February – 16 March
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $35.00 – $38.00
Bookings: FringeTix, Box Office in Rundle Mall, or phone 1300 621 255