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Roll up, roll up! Circa Beyond is here

Anna Riddel

Roll up, roll up! The Circus is in town! Watch carefully though, it’s no ordinary circus. You won’t see elephants or clowns or even a sideshow alley but you will  see a troupe of seven humans roll themselves into a ball and literally roll into town to delight and enchant their audience.

The acclaimed Australian troupe Circa is bringing its show Beyond to Canberra this week. For those of you lucky enough to have seen Circa S last year when it toured to the nation’s capital, you will be just as excited to see this performance that is nothing short of a truly spectacular disregard for perceived limitations of the human body.

Last year at Circa S, for 60 minutes the entire audience were sitting upright in their seat, unable to look away and brought to sudden outbursts of laughter (not gasping, but actually laugh-out-loud laughing) at the shock of the unbelievable sight being played out on stage. Circa S was of the top two shows of any genre from 2014, so, as you can imagine, there are high hopes for Circa Beyond.

The humans in Circa are nothing short of superhuman.

But what is it?

Essentially, Circa is a human circus with the emphasis on incredible feats of the human body. The various acts involve aerial work, a pole act, the duo trapeze, tissue work, a juggling act and several more surprises. Yet none of that really gives you the understanding of how tremendous the acts really are. But we know someone who does—Bridie Hopper, one of the many Circa performers who has pointed out the Circa difference that we couldn’t quite put our finger on.

“It is so group based… that’s what makes incredible work,” says Bridie.

“It’s not about one artist being a standout, it’s about working together.”

This really is key to Circa because it’s not the act of just one person that audience gasps at. It’s what the group do together that has audiences in disbelief. To put it into perspective, in Circa S they made a human skipping rope…just ponder that for a second.

“The performers aren’t hidden behind costumes and make up [either],” Bridie adds.

“You realise the acrobats are human; it makes the audience think about what is happening before them.”

She’s absolutely right too. The wow factor is that you feel like you’ve secretly slipped into the rehearsal room and caught the performers in mid-flight.

Bridie describes Beyond as a different show to Circa S. It is kooky and charming with plenty of moments that will make you crack up laughing, along with the incredible acts that Bridie tells even surprise the performers.

This is one show that will stay with you for a long time, long after the last performer has tumbled off the stage. Circa Beyond is certainly set to take you beyond limits, beyond instinct, beyond curiosity and beyond your wildest imagination.

See you there for the magic!

The essentials

What: Circa Beyond – Circus and Physical Theatre
When: Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 February
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre
How much: $30 to $45

Photos courtesy of Canberra Theatre Centre.


Anna Riddel

Anna Riddel is a singer, director, keynote speaker and a passionate teacher. In 2012, her song Breathe, received a runner up position in the USA International Song Of The Year Songwriting Contest. Anna is currently a Voice tutor at NIDA, as well as a tutor in Music Pedagogy at UNSW. Her company Speak Don’t Talk consults on voice and communication across a range of industries. Anna is an avid Brumbies fan and a self professed coffee snob. Follow her on twitter @annariddel More about the Author