This winter Circus Oz are presenting Model Citizens under the Circus Oz Big Top at Birrarung Marr from 20 June – 16 July 2017. I was invited to review the show and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to see a Circus Oz show!
Model Citizens uses clever set design and circus tricks to challenge your perceptions of what it means to be a ‘model’ citizen in modern Australia and what a ‘model-kit’ Australia might look like.
It is the first show directed by new artistic director Rob Tannion. He brings out Circus Oz’s distinctive brand of Australian humour with some edgy, fun and exciting circus displays.
Everyday objects – an iron, clothes peg, safety pin, credit cards and huge undies and socks – transform into circus equipment. Combine that with live music and traditional circus arts and you have an entertaining and thought-provoking 2 hour show (with 20 minute interval).
Lady AB loves the aerialist and watches mouth agape as knives are thrown blindfolded and fire shoots down a man’s throat. I can barely watch the delicate balancing of giant credit cards (before the mountain of debt tumbles down) and am stunned by the rapid spinning of the slack ropes.
Model Citizens is not only spectacular in its set design, physical skills and choreography; it also makes some pointed political messages. The cast reflects the ethnic diversity of Australia and is a metaphor for how many different people, with many different backgrounds and skills (and sizes and body shapes) can work together to make a coherent, beautiful, exuberant whole. This may go over most kids heads but it makes the show particularly relevant to Australian audiences.
Go and see it while you can!
Have a look behind the scenes here.
- the Big Top is accessible via Exhibition Street bridge and Birrarung Marr;
- toilets are outside the Big Top;
- at the entrance of the Big Top you’ll find a few food stands (pierogi, churros) and a souvenir/merchandise stall;
- The main arena of the Big Top is very warm so wear layers you can strip off;
- Show runs for 2 hours with a 20-minute interval;
- I think the show is suitable for 6+ years. I took Lady AB and not Baby 2.0 and I noticed smaller kids had to be ushered back to their seats regularly; and
- the show features flashing lights, smoke machines and live music and is animal-free.