As our ringmaster with the mad professor hair and pink boots stated, “At the West Australian Circus Festival, there is something for everyone”.
In the beating heart of FRINGE WORLD pandemonium on a Friday evening, and for a spectator who has been thrust down the Fringe rabbit hole enough times, I found this family friendly affair refreshing and enjoyable.
There was a mixture of all ages in the audience, no doubt part of the appeal of a 6.30pm time slot, and the youngest of audience members were acknowledged and encouraged by the ringmaster.
I’d personally never heard of the West Australian Circus Festival, but it happens in January ever year in Margaret River.
This Fringe show is not only to showcase the international circus talent on stage, but is an opportunity to plug the festival itself; after each act had been on stage, our Doc Brown lookalike did ask the audience if they had any questions about the Festival.
After a couple of goes with no response from the crowd, I did think, time to give it a rest, but eventually someone did pertinently ask what most were probably thinking, where were all the Australians?
Anna Fisher from Tasmania then boisterously appeared on stage, dressed in a black floral two piece, she captivated the audience with her hula hoop skills which were some of the best I’ve seen at Fringe.
We also witnessed a skilled French artist whose performance combined diablos and dance, a German trapeze artist with exceptional strength, a slapstick inspired double-act built on balance, strength and height, Rodriguez from Uruguay and Celine from France.
Another more theatrical French act focussing on a paper aeroplane, teased the audience, but the burst of talent and energy it was building up to never really eventuated.
The final act of the night was stage hand who’d been present all show, Marc Dorffner. With Europop blaring, Dorffner combined fast paced juggling with expert balancing skills that kept the audience engaged the whole way through.
My only grumble is being left slightly disappointed that for an event called the Best of Western Australian Circus Festival that there weren’t any West Australians on stage.