Circus Oz’s From The Ground Up! Plays it for Laughs
MONTREAL, QUE.: FEBRUARY 27, 2014 -- Hazel Bock spins a table with her foot during performance by Circus Oz from Australia at ToHu in Montreal Thursday February 27, 2014.
(John Mahoney / THE GAZETTE)
by Pat Donnelly
March 2, 2014.
Circus Oz is what happens when the spirit of clowning overtakes a circus that has social issues on its collective mind.
Founded in Melbourne in 1977, this Australian company is older than the Cirque du Soleil, much smaller (one troupe of 13 performers) and on the costume front, pointedly far less elegant.
Circus Oz, which is currently making its Montreal debut with its latest show, From the Ground Up! at Tohu, is closer kin to our anti-glam company, Les 7 doigts de la main. It has a cheeky, satirical edge and a funky orchestra that varies in size according to how many performers join in. This is a show where everyone is a clown and a musician as well as an acrobat, with the clowning being the company’s forte.
These performers aren’t out to embody perfection. They’re human. They err and carry on. Sometimes they appear inept, even clumsy, until they pull off something amazingly deft. They talk a lot and they’re quick to poke fun at themselves.