“… a show you just can’t miss” – Courier Mail, Australia
On a deserted island far, far away a rag tag circus troupe is washed up on a beach. Dazed and unfamiliar with their colourful new world they venture into the island with often hilarious results. Will they make it off or will the tropical, warm climate make them all go a little… ‘troppo’?
In this ‘Alice in Wonderland meets The Tempest’ action-packed new show, be taken on a colourful journey through the dazzling landscapes of the mystical island of Troppo. A daring new acrobatic world where you need to get lost to truly find yourself.
World premieres Brisbane, Australia 2016
Duration 85 minutes
Touring History Australia
Phil Brown, The Courier Mail “Brisbane Festival: Circa show Troppo at the Courier-Mail Piazza” published September 14, 2016
I LOVE Circa. I can’t help it, I just do. Their shows are fun, thoughtful, moving and the acrobats that work with this amazing Brisbane-based company are extraordinary. Their latest show, Troppo, which opened Tuesday night in The Courier-Mail Piazza, South Bank, as part of the Brisbane Festival, is probably their most fun production yet.
Artistic director Yaron Lifschitz and his team have cut loose on this one. Circa’s audiences are usually circus-savvy and sometimes even a tad cerebral but when you’re playing in the Piazza things are different and the crowd is a broader church than usual. With that and families in mind Circa has created a show that is fun in the extreme.
The atmosphere in this venue is like actually being at a circus with its big top and all, and that adds to the relaxed vibe. It’s a different sort of stage for Circa but they handle it well and turn it into a cross between a tropical island and a Gold Coast motor-inn with a fabulous retro neon sign blazing Troppo above it all.
There’s a lot more clowning than usual in this one which makes sense because the company is supposed to be going troppo, a condition particularly prevalent in the northern regions of Queensland where the heat and humidity can do funny things to you.
This show is very Australian on the one hand but also has that distinctly European feel that Circa encompasses and as usual the music is eclectic, global and thoughtfully chosen. And wonderful to sit and wait for the show to begin listening to the mellow jazz sounds of Blossom Dearie. Nice one Yaron.
It all begins with a shipwreck after a storm (very Shakespearean) when the straggling players are washed up on this island, an Astro Turf atoll. Then the fun begins with comedic routines interspersed with the usual virtuosic circus tricks, acrobatics and aerial work by Circa’s amazing troupe. When you hear the crowd collectively take a deep breath you know everyone is impressed and sitting on the edge of their seats hoping they can pull it off. They do.
But even when there are minor glitches, as there will be on an opening night, nobody seems to care because everyone is along for the ride, swept up in the joy of this wonderfully whimsical piece.
It’s that sense of joy that attracts us to circus, that open-hearted celebration of what it is to be human, that chance to take a holiday from oneself for an hour or more and be transported to another place, in this case a place called Troppo.
It’s shows like this that bring in a broad audience that are so good for the Brisbane Festival, that expand its reach and offer something for everyone.
Circa is often so busy performing abroad that they don’t have time to do that many shows here so it’s great to have them at home for a solid season of a show that you just can’t miss. But be prepared, there is some audience participation … but nothing too scary.
Created by Yaron Lifschitz with the Circa Ensemble
Director Yaron Lifschitz
Technical Director/Lighting Designer Jason Organ
Costume Design Libby McDonnell
Paul Tanguay (Worldwide)
David Lieberman / Artists’ Representatives (USA)
Circa acknowledges the assistance of the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body and the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland. This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Ministry for the Arts’ Catalyst—Australian Arts and Culture Fund.