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Monday, June 27, 2011

View from the big top for Spotswood performer

27 Jun 11

by Laura Keyshobsons-

bay-leader.whereilive.com.au

SPOTSWOOD musician and Circus Oz band member Bec Matthews didn’t exactly run away to join the circus, but she did swap a teaching job for life under the big top.
But a career with a modern-day circus bore little resemblance to the “romanticised” view that many people had of circus troupes, she said.
“We don’t travel around in caravans,” Matthews, a classically trained percussionist, laughed. “We fly and stay in hotel rooms. But during the big top season, our green room is a marquee and the stage manager lives in a caravan, so that’s about the closest it gets.”
This is Matthews’ second year with Circus Oz, which launched its new show, Steam Powered, in Melbourne last week. The show features some “spectacular” elements, including a dynamic aerial act and hoop diving, as well as the “usual silliness” that people expect from Circus Oz performances.
The opportunity to blend music and live theatre is what attracted Matthews to circus life and she’s even managed to pick up some more traditional circus skills along the way.
“Roller boller is my latest thing,” she said. “It’s a pipe with a board on top that you balance on.”
Another Spotswood resident, Sarah Ward, also performs with Circus Oz and will appear in the new show.
Ward’s talents include being a cabaret artist, writer, composer, hip-hop performer, clown and poet.
Steam Powered runs until July 17 at Birrarung Marr.
Information and tickets: circusoz.com

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