What Goes Up

Capital E, Wellington

01/10/2007 - 06/10/2007

Production Details


A fantasmagoria of gravity-defying physical feats, this stunning new circus show is something not to be missed. Presented by the circus experts, Fuse Productions.

You’ll think twice about gravity, as you watch some of the best circus artists around scale up ropes, twirl in silks, balance, hula-hoop and revel in a fiery finale like you’ve never seen before.  

From the geometry of heavenly bodies to supernova explosions, this show will leave audiences breathless and amazed! This is a child-friendly adaptation of the award-winning Gravity and other Myths that premiered in the 2007 Fringe Festival. Suitable for Families.  

WHEN: 1-6 Oct
TIMES: Mon-Thurs 12.30pm & 2.30pm, Fri – Sat 12.30pm & 6pm  
VENUE: Capital E Main Floor
PRICE: $10.50 incl GST per person.
$38 Family pass (4 people, incl at least one adult). Children aged under 2 Free.
$8.50 per person for groups of 10 or more. 

Theatre , Circus , Children’s ,

Spectacular feats more ‘child safe’ than ‘child friendly’

Review by Thomas LaHood 01st Oct 2007

This circus performance by the Fuse Productions crew showcases essentially the same aerial stunts and tricks with hoops as their Gravity and Other Myths show at the Fringe earlier this year, compacted into a 40 minute routine.  It’s a polished effort, but not enough new work has been done on the routines to tailor the show to a young audience.

The ‘child-friendly’ incarnation is presented at Capital E and drew a large throng of kids of all ages to its opening performance, yet there is little about it that makes it especially suitable for children.  The performers sport new outfits that are very slick, exuding a sex-appeal that seems a little out of place in front of an audience of mostly 5 to 7 year olds.

The show begins with some acro-balance poses, then moves through cord, hula-hoop and tissue routines to finish with a fiery finale that is brief but compelling.  There were several technical glitches, most notably when one performer accidentally flung one of his flaming fans into the backstage area, but most of the action was executed with finesse.  The skill required in these techniques is tremendous and is here demonstrated to a very high standard, but what is missing is audience rapport and flavour.

Some attempts at characterisation are made, albeit rudimentary ones.  When the boys come down off their cords after spinning in a breathtaking manner they appear to be out of balance; and the flexible blonde performer makes some good eye-contact with her audience as she contorts herself impossibly out of a tiny plexiglass box and through a metal ring.  But for the most part the routines are conducted without any acknowledgement of the audience at all, as in the flight-themed red tissue routine.

While this does not necessarily diminish the spectacle of the show, nor the children’s amazement at the feats being performed, it shows a lack of imagination and spontaneity, and certainly makes the difference between politely appreciative and rapturous applause.  Compare this to the recent show by Circus Oz, where the characters, the humour and the situations embellished the stunts and tricks and made them truly fun and exciting to watch.

The music that underscores the show is not particularly well matched to its audience demographic.  Mostly cool, laid-back electronica, there is not enough variation or life in it to spark a young imagination.  The staging is not altogether successful either.  A large screen at the back of the stage does very little, displaying only a projection of a crescent moon and the shadows of the performers.  Transitions between sequences mostly involve the next performer quietly appearing behind the current one, sometimes getting in the way of their hula hoop or fire-staff in the process.

I enjoyed these performers’ outdoor show at the Fringe earlier this year, and first-time viewers will no doubt be wowed by their strength and skill.  However, the loss of the more raunchy material has made it ‘child-safe’ as opposed to ‘child-friendly’, and the challenge for this company will be to bring some more imagination to their routines before they become over-familiar.


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