Homegrown circus ready to impress
Tue, 10 Jul 2012 11:00a.m.
By Ally Mullord
If you're left uninspired by the thought of another winter night spent plonked in front of the telly, never fear - the circus is in town. New Zealand's Zirka Circus is currently presenting their new show 'Out of This World' at Auckland's ASB Showgrounds, and it's definitely worth getting off the couch for.
'Out Of This World' features a small but talented troupe of performers who quickly charm the audience into hanging on their every move during the two-hour show, which pairs impressive acrobatics with a healthy dose of comedy.
Zirka Circus has a homegrown feel - the performers dash out at half time to sell candyfloss and various bits of plastic merchandise, and some of the equipment could use a new coat of paint - but the performers are immensely likeable and eager to please, and the acrobatics are genuinely breathtaking.
The show kicks off with hat juggling, regular juggling, and diabolo juggling - so far, so circus - but the female performers swiftly bring it up a level with a series of contortions and balancing acts that show off their impressive strength and flexibility.
Highlights of the show include the giant see-saw - where two acrobats leap onto one end of the see-saw, sending a third backflipping into the air to be caught on the feet of his friend - and the Sphere of Death, which (spoiler alert) doesn't involve any actual death, but looks like it easily could. The male performers salute the crowd before the riskier stunts, adding a nice touch of drama and a somewhat gladiatorial effect - which drew a mixed reaction of cheers and giggles.
The only dip in what was otherwise a brilliant show was the haphazard spotlight, which swung wildly from the performers to the crowd and back again, often via a piece of stage equipment or the ceiling. A slightly more attentive spotlight operator would have improved the show's atmosphere hugely.
The show itself is nicely balanced, with the edge-of-your-seat acts neatly interspersed with lighter performances - rollerskates and skipping ropes feature - and the general acrobatics are broken up by the appearance of clowns. The first half clowns were a little lacklustre and would have been better without the prerecorded sound effects, but the delightful comedy chefs in the second half made up for their earlier comrades with a plate-spinning kitchen extravaganza.
A combination of dazzling physical prowess, skilled dramatic performance and engaging family fun makes Zirka Circus the perfect event for anyone who needs a little big of magic to warm up their winter.
The school holiday season is running until July 15, with daily matinees for the kids and evening shows for the whole family, after which the circus moves on to Manukau.
Visit the website for show times and pricing information.
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