Review in Issue 12-2 | Summer 2000

Out of the middle of a tiny circus tent emerges the Queen waving desultorily to her audience on this, the last night of the Circus Oz UK tour. It is a theme which continues throughout the night: a cabaret style approach to ensuring the relevance of the performance to contemporary issues, such as the recent referendum in Australia which voted to keep the Queen as its head of state. The compere for the evening is a batty conductor who is up to date with dotcom companies and the joys of travel on the Northern Line.

But this is about as cutting edge as Oz get. Essentially, they are a hugely entertaining company who should appeal across all ages with their collection of talented performers and absurd routines combined with a strong sense of ensemble. Routines such as the hoops, tightwire and swinging trapeze, to name a few, are accomplished and owe much to traditional circus as well as the now accepted tradition of Archaos.

If there is anything quintessentially unique about this circus company, it is the Australian propensity for irreverence. Absolutely nothing is sacred. For the sake of entertainment, beautiful and clever moments are sacrificed at the altar of comedy, with positive and negative results. Two leather-clad and whip cracking harpies dominating a passive yet accomplished tightwire walker, are profoundly irritating. But real glimpses of beauty and originality are found in the acrobatic water fountain and the highly skilled horn-blower.

Overall, I had a fantastic night out and patriotically stomped and clapped my way through the show’s finale.

Artforms
Presenting Artists
Presenting Venue
Date Seen
  1. Apr 2000

This article in the magazine

Issue 12-2
p. 27