Warehouse Circus directed by Skye Morton at Belconnen Community CentreJuly 17-20, 2002, 7pm. Bookings 6251 4007.
If there's one thing I like to see when young people perform on stage, it's a genuine sense of enjoyment and community. Even though Warehouse Circus can only offer part-time training, it was pleasing to watch people not just going through the motions of circus exercises, but putting on an entertaining show.
Skye Morton, herself a student with Warehouse back in 1993 and a professional performer in the intervening years, demonstrated the difference between circus and gymnastics. Where gymnastics is about getting every move correct, circus is about knowing how to turn a dropped dumbbell or a fall from a balancing act into a humorous part of the show. These young performers kept up a warmth of feeling in the audience in the tradition of the great circus clowns. Each one had their own character whom we got to know well. They even built in deliberate "mistakes" as part of the comedy so that it wasn't always easy to tell if a real mistake had been made. This is excellent theatrical thinking.
I was also impressed by the originality of many of the moves, especially in the multi-person balances where there was a real sense of exploring new positions and interesting shapes. This kind of work requires a strong feeling of trust, which is the basis for the continued life of Warehouse Circus over the years since it began in 1991. In true circus tradition some families have become long-term participants, and the feast on stage after opening night was certainly a community affair.
This is not elitist theatre. It's entertainment done with sincerity - and hard work on the young people's part. Good to see.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
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