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When I was at school I’d often day-dream about running away and joining the circus, but never quite pursued it – it all seemed a bit too far-fetched.
Fast-forward a few years and it turns out my musings weren’t all that bizarre after all, as former Canberra boy Dylan Ingwersen is doing just that.
The limber 16-year old has been an acrobat in Australia’s national youth circus, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, for almost seven years, and will return to his hometown next month to perform the circus’ latest production at the Canberra Theatre Centre, Circus Under My Bed.
The family-friendly production draws audiences into the imagination of a young girl spending a final night in her bedroom before moving away. As the lights go out, she dreams up a circus world of whimsical characters who help her face her fears and turn packing- up into an adventure.
Dylan will play one of the maintenance crew, showing off his acrobatic talents including balancing another member of the cast on his head and “throwing and catching” others to help them perform backwards somersaults and dives.
“It definitely requires plenty of physical strength, so we have to do conditioning training every day to build our muscles,” says Dylan.
“I’m excited to show people what I can do.”
The 17-strong group of performers will also travel to Turkey to perform the show, which Dylan describes as “a tick off the bucket list”.
“I’ve never been before and have always wanted to go, so I’m pretty excited,” he says.
Based in Albury, The Flying Fruit Fly Circus is the only full-time circus school for young people aged eight to 18 in Australia.
Dylan, who now lives in Sydney, says he joined the circus in 2009 after following in his brother’s footsteps.
“He had performed in the show before and had a great experience, so I thought ‘why not’,” he says.
“We had both started in acrobatics from a summer holiday program our parents put us in, and loved it ever since.”
Dylan says while rehearsing takes up plenty of time, school is an important part of life with the circus.
“We go to school during the day and then train from 4pm to 6.30pm each afternoon, so it’s full on but we have a good balance,” Dylan says.
“We have a really good relationship with each other and get along really well, so it’s a nice environment to come to everyday.”
Disappointingly, I discover I’ve missed the cut-off age for joining this circus, but Dylan assures me I can live vicariously through them.
“The audience is a big part of the show because we really feed off their energy – there’s no better feeling than when you see surprise or excitement in their eyes,” he says.
What: The Flying Fruit Fly Circus – Circus Under My Bed
When: Thursday 16 to Saturday 18 July 2015
Where: Canberra Theatre Centre, Civic Square, London Circuit
How much: Tickets from $30