Campground Chaos

St Johns Bar Green, Wellington

28/02/2013 - 09/03/2013

Hamilton Gardens, Turtle Lake, Hamilton

19/02/2014 - 23/02/2014

Aotea Square, Auckland

13/12/2013 - 14/12/2013

Expressions Arts & Entertainment Centre - Upper Hutt, Wellington

27/02/2014 - 02/03/2014

Frank Kitts Park, Wellington

17/02/2011 - 26/02/2011

Unwrapping Christmas 2013

NZ Fringe Festival 2014

NZ Fringe Festival 2011

NZ Fringe Festival 2013

Production Details

Outdoor Kiwiana circus show for summer 2014 

Multi-award winning Fuse Circus brings you their circus – theatre show inspired by the iconic kiwi campground holiday! 

Campground Chaos is a spectacular show consisting of visual physical theatre, circus performance and kiwi music. Inspired by iconic New Zealand summer holiday traditions found in campgrounds, holiday parks and beaches all over the country, the cast of highly skilled circus artists show the audience a summer holiday they will never forget.

Over the past five years Fuse Circus has built a wide public following and has toured many festivals and events, won awards and received fantastic critical acclaim, this show will be the next evolution in Fuse Circus! 

“The overwhelming impression they leave is of a group cleverly lacing dazzling accomplishment in the air with something more akin to true theatre, for they claim more than our fascinated gaze. In playing so wholeheartedly from their imagination they invite a response in kind.” TR Christchurch 2009. 

An iconic and integral part of the New Zealand summer are motor camps, holiday parks and other outdoors camping grounds. Set in various locations around the country they are a vibrant meeting ground of people from diverse backgrounds, thrown together under the summer sun in tents, caravans in the bush or on the beach. 

This is the imaginative world which Fuse artists explore and find inspiration in for the creative process. We will be working with renowned New Zealand theatre director & deviser: Nick Blake, Dance Choreographer: Maria Dabrowska, as well as international, (now NZ resident) contemporary clown Fraser Hooper to bring to you “Camping Chaos”. 


19 February 2014, 7:30 PM
20 February 2014, 7:30 PM
21 February 2014, 5:00 PM
22 February 2014, 12:00 PM
22 February 2014, 4:00 PM
23 February 2014, 12:00 PM
23 February 2014, 4:00 PM

Turtle Lake Lawn

Cancelled if wet

Adults $23
Family (2 adults + 2 children) $45
Children (5-14) $10
Children (Under 5) FREE but a ticket is still required due to venue capacity


Wellington/Upper Hutt

27 Feb – 2 March 2014

Thur–Sat 7.00pm; Sat–Sun 2.00pm KOHA  

Spectacle , Comedy , Circus , Burlesque ,

Busking works of art

Review by Pip E-Lysaah 28th Feb 2014

I suspect not many people have had the pleasure of seeing FUSE Circus and they should correct this immediately!  Powered by the Wellington Circus Trust this unique crowd of bodies develops what I call ‘busking works of art’ and tours them around New Zealand for FREE, well for a Koha, basically you pay what you think its worth.

Their past shows have featured the finest of NZ circus talent from Guiness World Record Holders to NZ Burlesque celebraties, this is to performance art what Shortland Street is to actors.  I can’t deny my favourite was a hammock swinging blond god masquerading as a hoop mastering bogan 😉
This is the tale of a kiwi campground and all its lunatic, cliche antics, from the beer swigging bogan to the foreign tourist.  Like all busking acts it feature a number of familiar feeling acts, adagio (two person gymnastics for us Upper Huttians), juggling and some aerial delights, what Campground Chaos does is roll it into a themed comedic event.
I’m loving the opening, with the crowd interactions and chatting to tell us what its all about, it sets the scene and brings you into the show.
You can take the kids, you can take granddad, you can take a date, it features something for everyone!
My recommendations: take a camp seat, a blanket and sit as close to the front as you can, but behind the kids of course, clap loudly, chant when asked and don’t be ashamed to throw a little money!


Make a comment

Most amazed by a toothbrush trick

Review by Charlotte Simmonds 02nd Mar 2013

If you enjoy clowning but are afraid of clowns, like aerobatics but are scared of heights, and if you prefer to confront your fears vicariously from the relative (sitting up front) safety of your own plot of grass, this may be the thing you want this summer! 

In addition to your picnic blanket, picnic basket, picnic drinks and picnic children, bring plenty of picnic cash because this is a $30 show for the busker’s price of whatever you can afford and if you go a little easier on the picnic drinks you can probably afford to give a lot more, and if you can’t afford the suggested koha, don’t feel guilty, just laugh extra loud. 

Fuse Circus – the company responsible for sell-out shows The Navigators, Gravity and Other Myths and Heavenly Burlesque – have toured this piece from the Bay of Islands to Invercargill this summer and now at last back home in Wellington, they bring us an as-always lovingly crafted set that is in itself a delight to look at.

With a cast of five, the developed characters are equally lovable and delightful to watch cavorting about the space, from the mischievous campground tui with a most effervescent smile (Jay Air) to the raucous, beer-guzzling yet somehow endearing bogan (Zach Washer).

This particular show was also performed at Frank Kitts Park during the 2011 Fringe. I did not see it then but judging from the trailer, the routines of the 2013 version have been drastically altered and one cast member (Natalie Hona), having nabbed herself a dance contract in Germany, has been replaced. Some of this may potentially be the reason for the “world’s tallest long drop” being disappointingly under-utilised and achieving none of its anticipated comic potential, but I doubt I would have noticed what might have just blended into the set, if it hadn’t been pointed out at the beginning of the show.  

The storyline is charming and humorous and, supplemented by a well-curated entirely New Zealand soundtrack, altogether boosted my sense of patriotism and pride in having had the accident of being born under the same flag as such acrobats. Nigel, the flustered and bumbling camp manager (Tom Beauchamp) struggles in vain to maintain order, usually making things worse, as Jeff the Bogan parties hard from within his Cyr wheel and vies against a juggling sports nut (Sean Dwen) for the attention of Olga, the stunning red-headed German tourist (Jessica Judge) who has unwittingly smitten not only the three men and the entire audience but even the cheeky tui. 

The timing of the show, carefully coordinated with the natural lighting of summer, is well-planned, resulting in optimal dreaminess as Olga finally chooses Jeff for the romantic love scene on an aerial hoop which throws out hints from behind this family-friendly façade towards the troupe’s late-night burlesque alter-ego. 

The show culminates in a grand barbecue in the sky at the Flying Picnic Table of Death. It may not have been every child’s dream to eat sausages in bread at tables floating in the clouds, but it was mine! 

Plenty of death-defying stunts and ooh-ahh moments, yet there is an element of assumption when we go to a circus, especially in spoilt-for-choice Wellington. We expect no less than brilliance from each performer. We do not expect them to break a leg, fall, mess up a trick. We assume they will astound us and are not too astounded when they do. They know secrets we don’t. They are not human. They cannot fail.

So when Sean Dwen begins the spinning on his finger of an object I reach for twice a day and yet have never thought to bend towards tricks, and haven’t the slightest idea how one would go about it in the first place, I am somehow more amazed by that one little toothbrush than any other predicted miracle of physics I see for the rest of the night. 


Make a comment

Colourful and playful Kiwiana-infused circus romp

Review by Helen Sims 19th Feb 2011

Campground Chaos is the latest offering from Fuse Circus. During the Fringe Festival it takes place in the open air amphitheatre in Frank Kitts Park. 

A camp master wearing a boy scout uniform and a harness welcomes the audience to the campground and tells us we are in for an hour or so of acrobatics, contortion, juggling and general circus frivolity. Over the course of the next hour we do enjoy watching the aforementioned circus feats mixed in with tongue in cheek Kiwiana fun, slapstick physical comedy, dance and a thumping NZ music soundtrack.

As well as the campground master, the show features a nimble tui who spends most of her time suspended from the top of the rigging (in a beautiful costume), a bendy French tourist who becomes the object of affection of a back flipping bogan and a rugby head with the remarkable ability to juggle almost anything. The show is structured more around its theme and the performance of numbers than any kind of plot, but given the format, plot isn’t really necessary.

All the numbers are performed with seeming ease, but the odd fumble or near miss reminds you of the physical risks these performers are taking. Later in the show a clever change in set, combined with up-tempo drum ’n’ bass and lighting changes, brings an outdoor dance party feel to the campground. The finale involves an impressive aerial stunt – but I won’t give the details away.

Fuse Circus’ Campground Chaos is a colourful and playful Kiwiana-infused circus romp that both children and adults will enjoy.

The only sour note for me is the extent to which the audience is harangued to pay up for the show afterwards. I understand that if the audience doesn’t pay the performers don’t get paid. I also firmly agree that performers of a show of this quality should be paid well. But if you have chosen to market and present a show on a koha basis, then to my mind you’ve also chosen to make it as accessible as possible and dependent on people’s generosity. Repeatedly exhorting people to give a minimum of $20 and more preferably $50 seemed to go against that spirit, and brings a strangely bitter ending to an otherwise enjoyable evening.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


paul shelley February 19th, 2011

Would just like to point out that a koha was all that was wanted.

As every busking show the world over, asking for cash notes or coins is very common.

sour tastes in the mouth maybe came from the direct way in which it was asked, i.e. upfront and honest.

Make a comment

Wellingon City Council
Aotearoa Gaming Trust
Creative NZ
Auckland City Council