DARK TALES – Dreams and Desires

Rose Centre Belmont, Auckland

28/02/2013 - 02/03/2013

Auckland Fringe 2013

Production Details


Silver Circle’s community circus troupe brings Auckland its next devilish instalment at The Rose Centre From February 28th, as part of the Auckland Fringe 2013!

It’s strange and it’s sexy; it’s disarming, irreverent, unexpected and mad-cap; it’s inspiring and impressive; it’s dark and delightful – always hard to define, this company brings a unique fusion of burlesque and bellydance sensuality with the physicality of martial arts, circus arts and acrobatics, all put together with a touch of song, a twist of quirky comedy, a smidgeon of intensity, and rather a lot of dabbling in our half-forgotten childhood dreams, nightmares and fantasies.

Dark Tales, the fourth Silver Circle Productions show, builds on its predecessors ‘1001 Knights’, ‘Joie de Vivre’ and ‘Bon Mort Vivant – a Dead Sexy Cabaret’, combining the talents of a diverse team of experienced performance artists, stunt fighters, and entertainers with stunning dancers, daring acrobats and personalities. This intriguing vaudeville review will take you to the birth of faery tales: dreams, fantasies and nightmares; fears and desires; difference, darkness and delight, and in February you (yes you!) can be part of it!

The last show was described as: ‘pure circus burlesque’; ‘unadulterated fun!’; ‘ The choreography was excellent and… the dancing itself was simply delicious’; ‘a more enthusiastic bunch of multi-talented devotees you’re never likely to meet’; ‘a two hour riot took place and I loved every preposterous moment of it’ (‘Theatreview‘ / Wallace Arts Trust Reviews)

This show is perfect for those seeking something a bit different, something that challenges the mundane, the conventional and the expected. Come prepared for an audience-inclusive cabaret, complete with laughter and lashings of light-hearted fun. Guests are cautioned to be prepared for “possible naked-ish, sexy-ish, scary-ish stuff; strangeness and silliness” and invited to Dress up and join the fun!”

Auckland Fringe runs from 15 February to 10 March 2013. For more Auckland Fringe information go to www.aucklandfringe.org.nz 

Thursday February 28 to Saturday March 2, 8pm
Duration: 90 minutes (including 15 min intermission, and fire play with cast after show)
Location: The Rose Centre, School Rd, Belmont
Tickets: $25, concession $20
Bookings: Go to www.darktales.eventbrite.co.nz   

1hr 30min, incl. interval

Semi-cute, semi-cringy

Review by Gus Simonovic 01st Mar 2013

Not knowing what kind of traffic to expect, driving over the Harbour Bridge any time of day or night, I arrive in Belmont quite early, 7.30pm, to find the theatre car park is already full and atmosphere festive. How lovely to see the awesome Auckland Fringe, in its third incarnation, spreading its tentacles and vibes across our supercity.

Apart from fabulous PumpHouse Theatre in Takapuna, which runs their own mini Unhinged Festival, the Rose Centre is the other lovely Fringe venue on the Shore, opening its doors at 7pm for an 8pm start of Dark Tales by Silver Circle Productions crew. 

What makes it even lovelier is the fact that people at the door are actual performers, people selling drinks and snacks are performers and people mingling around are performers. All happy, welcoming and smiling jugglers and fairies and other burlesque /circus /cabaret-ish figures blending nicely with an eclectic looking audience (dressing up was publicly encouraged).

Altogether, a delightful fringy community spirit, hinting at a good night’s entertainment ahead. 

I pick up a programme that says: “Silver Circle is a community circus that formed in 2008 when a group of amateur performers from a variety of persuasions decided to try their hand at burlesque, cabaret and circus. With the attitude of ‘we can do that’ the Tuesday acrobatic class was born and from there we’ve learnt that it’s often harder than it looks.”  

Oops, that gave me a little fright – it is always harder than it looks guys, isn’t it? After turning the page of the programme in search for some sort of reassurance and comfort, I learn that there are close to 20 “scenes” spread across “two chapters” of this possible learning of “that it’s often it’s harder than it looks“. And when the start is delayed for good 15 minutes, I am really worried.

When the Dark Tales eventually start it doesn’t take too long to realise that despite having a few very skilled professional performers, the production stays on a level of community theatre. As you would expect, there are fairies and villains, princes and princesses, rubber swords and axes… all wrapped up into another ‘good vs evil’ story aimed at saving another child from its fearful dreams.

If we had all stayed in the foyer, having a cocktail, chatting with a friends while glancing over 2-3 different semi-interesting acts in the corner(s), that would have been fine. But sitting through an hour and a half of randomly put together variety acts is way too much. And at 9.30pm only the First Chapter is done! Apart from couple of well developed Acro-Balance (Colin and Deanna ) and Silks pieces, the rest of the show is a semi-cute, semi-cringy run-through of a ‘theatre handbook for beginners’ with bits of very bad belly dancing and totally unnecessary, unconnected audience-interaction parts.

If you are interested, I do stay for the Second Chapter … which features another successful duet (Bethany and Greg ) and whole lot more of “harder than it looks” trying to be funny, sexy or acting, singing … even covering a page in the ‘theatre handbook for beginners’ on mask performance.

By 10.30pm it is evident that family and friends in the audience are enjoying themselves and being proud of their mates on stage. Way to go! Fringe, after all, is a great opportunity for talent of all levels to express and share, to get together, have fun and celebrate the community spirit in arts and performance! 

One thing that stands out, and really positively surprises me is the choice of music. Whoever chose it managed to stay away from ‘hits from 70s and 80s’ as well as not include some cheesy, cheep popular music on this side of 2000s – but stayed safely in the 90s with more than bearable tunes from Portishead and Massive Attack. Alleluia!

Considering the number of performers (some of whom are highly skilled), and the length of the show – close to 3 ½ hours including the pre-show, interlude and after-show – someone could say that night is a good value for $25. 

I finish with another very honest and telling line from the programme: “What makes Silver Circle so special is the people: a wonderful bunch of positive, friendly, dedicated, enthusiastic and brave characters.” Total truth! 


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