Te Auaha, Tapere Nui, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro, Wellington

28/02/2023 - 04/03/2023

NZ Fringe Festival 2023

Production Details

Nicole Maisey and Regina Hegemann

‘The Flying Femmes’ is here to bring the joy and allure of traditional circus to the Pōneke community.

The accomplished all-female cast will take the audience on a journey to explore the history and progression of circus as an artform, paying tribute to its roots but offering a modern twist. With a vintage feel and creative use of classical circus props and apparatuses, the show celebrates the origins of circus and explores traditional circus themes and stereotypes within the context of the modern world.

Expect high-calibre circus, glamorous costumes and first-rate entertainment in a charming family-friendly atmosphere.

Te Auaha – Tapere Nui, Level 1, 65 Dixon Street, Te Aro
Tuesday 28 February – Saturday 4 March 2023
+ Saturday 4 March, 4.30pm

Cabaret , Cirque-aerial-theatre , Theatre ,

1 hr

Multi-skilled, delicate, exciting, quirky, playful, engaging

Review by Deborah Pope 02nd Mar 2023

The Flying Femmes is a fun and family friendly circus show with a vintage feel.

This is a simple and engaging show, drawing on images of traditional circus and 1920s vaudeville in costume, music and themes. The act-based circus format highlights the individual and ensemble skills, and the theatre, Ta Auaha’s Tapere Nui, gives an up-close and intimate viewpoint for the audience who are engaged and appreciative.

The show opens with a delicate and strong hand-balancing act from Regina Hegeman, creating unnaturally beautiful and grotesque images balancing on tall handstand canes, complemented by a slow moving sculptural  tableau of the ensemble.

The rope act is exciting. Katelyn Reed looks completely at home and in control as she wraps and unwraps the rope around her body, dropping, twisting, and climbing. There is play and joy in her control and manipulation of the rope as object.

Referencing traditional circus, the links between the acts are covered by a clown ensemble and in particular a clown stuck in a chair whose audience engagement and playfulness is charming.

Other acts include a variety of skills both individual and ensemble, with Nicole Maisie charming in a chair balancing act and the aerial ring. The Femmes are multi skilled and other quirky acts include ‘walking on bottles’ and ‘tossing the girl’.

The finale brings a change of pace with a fantastic hula hoop act from Laura Oakley which has the audience clapping and cheering.

It is a joy to see four women working together on stage, reminiscent of circus and vaudeville acts of the ‘golden age of circus’, and I commend the non-sexualized images of women created by their work.

The show is well paced and the production is clean. At times the lighting lacks atmosphere, but the enjoyment and engagement of and with the audience is clear.

The Flying Femmes demonstrates the value of the Fringe Festival for the opportunities it gives for young artists and companies to explore, and for audiences to experience.


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