Saturday, 29 November 2003

Odditorium by Women's Circus, Nov 29, 2003


Odditorium  by Women's Circus  
North Melbourne Town Hall, Nov 29 until Dec 13, 2003
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on Nov 29, 2003

The Women's Circus continues its commendable work with women, old and young, in the community. Odditorium - best show title this year - directed by Andrea Lemon,  is more sideshow or vaudeville than a circus.

The audience is seated along one side with acts appearing on the floor, above us and even on the actual stage. After pre-show entertainment in the Supper Room  and sideshow alley, we are invited into the main hall.

The host for the show is Fanny Espinoza  played cheekily and with relish Lynette McKenzie. Fanny is a raunchy, faded star who spends much of the show extricating herself from a human parasite wrapped around her.

There are several group acts of peppy skilful women doing acrobatic balancing or choreographed pieces. One great idea is a duo performed on fabric hanging from the rig.  They are Toorak Tarts  who pose and drop banknotes as they social climb their way up the Tissue.  Another charming act on Tissue is after interval.

An absolutely mesmerising puppet piece depicts a woman trapped inside a birdcage being released by a tiny articulated figure. The puppet then releases a cow in a pink tutu from incarceration and into a life of show biz. wo cleaners do a funny, invisible tightrope act and some exceptional balances on a real ladder.

There are two animal acts. Two women train battery operated poodles and another rides through the space on a squeaky tricycle with a very timid kelpie and a red balloon. A goofy soccer-obsessed trio play soccer, perform balances and make us do a Mexican Wave  every time they score a goal.

There are a couple of trapeze acts. The Love Addict  dreams of falling in love as she dangles on high. Our host, Fanny, joins her Nordic Beauty on the trapeze for a wicked and lustful double act.

Four women work on low trapezes in slow motion whilst another sweet comic character scrambles desperately to climb up on a Cloud Swing. There is a martial arts fight scene on stilts, an acrobatic spider in a web and a mad, high-paced tap dance with accordion.

Odditorium is a simple and engaging show that demonstrates enormous amounts of commitment and love on the parts of director, trainers and performers.

By Kate Herbert

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