Moonroe’s Happy Hour is a variety show featuring song, circus and a touch of burlesque created and performed by Laura Oakley and Jackson Cordery. Variety is the name of the game with this show, with some acts proving to be genuinely astonishing while some were found lacking.
Heartstrings, produced by award-winning contemporary circus company Inverted Citizens, is an immersive aerial performance that pitches itself as ‘a human experience that transcends the barriers of language and culture’ – bold words. Aerialist Jackson Cordery invites an audience of twenty or so to ‘step inside a beating heart’, and for fifteen minutes we are curtained off from the outside world (namely, The Circus Hub) by a beautiful red tent that, for what it’s worth, really does evoke ‘vital organ’.
Sean Burnett Dugdale-Martin
COLOSSAL’s show Dream Garden produced by Eleanor Strathern is a non-verbal aerial circus show exploring the dream world through movement, physical comedy, and gentle audience interaction. Performed and choreographed by aerial circus artists Imogen Stone and Jackson Cordery with tech by Zane Jarvie, Dream Garden provides something beautiful for everybody. Enticing in its craft, relaxed in its confident exploration of dreams, this truly is circus for the soul.
GAG REFLEX is a (more or less) one woman show, created by Rachel Atlas, and directed by Sabrina Martin. GAG REFLEX takes us through Atlas’s experiences as a performer, a sex worker, and a survivor, in a world that often feels like it is not built for women like her. This is Atlas’ first venture onto the stage as an actor, and I must say, what a strong entrance!
After having to cancel their debut season due to COVID-19, Colossal is back with Laser Kiwi #2, the second iteration of their sellout show, Laser Kiwi, and it is well worth the wait. It follows the same unique form that can only be labelled as ‘circus sketch comedy’, with all new, never-before-seen content and the same manic energy.
Oddacity is delightful, hysterical, and ridiculous. The show is a collection of circus, cabaret, and comedy sketches, each more silly than the last. It’s one of those shows that when you try to explain, you have to preface your description with ‘it sounds stupid but…’. Oddacity is the definitive ‘you had to be there’ show, and you do not want to miss out.
Written and performed by Damien Warren-Smith, and directed and cowritten by Cal McCrystal, Garry Starr Performs Everything is riot of a show that will delight theatre-makers and casual audience members alike. Having won awards in the Adelaide, Brighton, and Manchester 2018 Fringe Festivals, and having been nominated for both Best Newcomer and the Golden Gibbo Award in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018, I was intrigued to say the least. Let me break down this must-see of Wellington Fringe Festival 2019.
by Laura Ferguson
One event I truly miss since moving from Christchurch is their annual World Buskers Festival. That’s one reason I look forward to the productions of Rollicking Entertainment starring husband-and-wife team Lizzie Tollemache and David Ladderman. Their latest offering, Seven Deadly Stunts, brings me more of what I crave in a busker festival-less world: excitement, thrills, fun and the bouncing curiosity of seeing feats even my imagination wouldn’t dare attempt.
Tollemache and Ladderman’s Seven Deadly Stunts is exactly as it sounds: seven sideshow acts that combine anticipation, vicarious fear and comedy. It delivers this in chainsaws, and no, that isn’t just an awkward substitution for spades.
The Menagerie is a monthly variety show produced by Rachel Rouge. The August show was a mix of circus, burlesque, magic, comedy, music and poetry all tied together by the MC Mr Wizowski.
The performers were equally balanced between emerging artists and established performers. Each of them obviously being chosen for their talent and stage presence, both of which was notably high across the board even if there were occasional doses of nerves.
Local Honest Reviews
At Art Murmurs, our aim is to provide honest and constructive art reviews to the Wellington community.