BWW Review: THE WANDERING CIRCUS at Holden Street Theatres
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Thursday 14th November 2019.The Wandering Circus is a troupe of twelve diverse performers who have been touring the country since 11th October, starting in Brisbane, and they concluded their season by visiting Adelaide. They presented only the one performance and, on Saturday, they were in Elder Park to present a wide range of workshops, from spoken word to fire twirling. Sophie deLightful, who was here for the Cabaret Fringe last year (see my review here), adopts a different hat as both performer and the promoter of the tour. The cast members came from Australia, America, and New Zealand for the tour, with one from England who now lives in New Zealand. It all began in the car park. As fire spinning was not permitted inside the venue, The Arch, several of the group lit-up outside, with a range of styles being displayed as a prelude to the main performance. This was a very welcome bonus and drew the first of many rounds of applause and cheering from the waiting audience. Once inside, Sophie deLightful opened the show with an introduction to the evening's activities, and her reworked version of Poor Unfortunate Soul and, having warmed up an audience that really needed no warming up, judging by the response to her welcome, and opening act, she then proceeded to take on the role of ring mistress/compère for the evening. Her inimitable style and vibrant personality were a huge asset to the performances. Logan Goethe (USA) has a very clever, and amusing way of using juggling clubs, beginning playfully and generating laughter, then ending with a great display of skill. DottyHoops (USA) is a fire dancer but, like all of the troupe members, she is multitalented. Her performance with rainbow flags and a hexagonal hoop added a touch of graceful beauty to the production, and Mike Hayataka & Jesy Brenner (USA) joined forces in a well-received acrobatic balancing act Xanthe Naylor (NZ) is a juggler who works with a hoop at the same time, making it look as though it is easy to juggle three balls, whilst lying on her back, with one leg in the air, spinning a hoop on her toes. Evelyn Coulson (NZ) is usually an aerialist but, as the venue was not suitable, she demonstrated one of her other skills, feigning shyness in an endearing performance with a hoop. For this show only, the cast included local performer, Timmehtek, an internationally highly regarded contact poi spinner, who closed the first half with a most impressive display of his skills. After the interval, Jinx Kinx Minx (NZ) brought a brightly colourful start to the proceedings with her clever use of illuminated pixel whip and hoop. Victor Victorious (NZ), who had been clowning throughout as the stagehand, took his turn as a performer, singing Mister Cellophane, originally sung by Roxie Hart's husband in the musical Chicago, putting his own uniquely marvellous interpretation on the number. Even the group's technical wizard, Hamish Ross Crichton (NZ), turned out to be a performer in his own right, with a comical routine as a rather clumsy juggler. Spoken word performer, RikTheMost (UK), brought a change of pace, with a touch of wry humour and some marvellous poetry, earning plenty of applause. Joel Lawry (NZ) is a wizard with the contact staff, making it almost seem alive, the 'That HOOP GUY' (USA) closed the show, stunning the audience into disbelief with his incredibly intricate work with hoops. This international collective of modern circus performers set a high standard and thoroughly deserved all of the applause and cheering throughout and at the conclusion of the performance. Let's hope that The Wandering Circus wanders this way again soon.