(Reviewed by Sarah List)
Olio Circus is one of those, debuting their first creation since forming in 2018. Chantelle Reed, Natalie Tran, Melissa Johns and Ellyse Bunney have considerable performance experience in the circus world, and it’s truly exciting to see local talent making the leap to creating their own company and show.
The Otherworld is a dark, corrupted place, and while the show opens with a visually beautiful and serene light performance, the dark twists soon arrive.
The creepiest and most unsettling performance for me was the black clad contortionist who emerged from a box on the stage. There’s a quality of ‘I can’t look away’ and sitting through gritted teeth while they bend themselves into positions that seem to defy human anatomy. Also many flashbacks to that scene from ‘The Exorcist’ where Linda Blair creeps down the stairs whilst upside down on her hands and feet.
There’s plenty of aerial work for fans of those art forms. I’m a sucker for silks, and there’s a couple of mesmerising performances featuring those, and also aerial hoop, and swing (human sized dolls are surprisingly creepy!). There’s also a glorious poi performance with light that flickers through different colour stages, and I won’t post a spoiler for the mesmerising closing act other than to say – FIRE.
With live backing guitar from Scott Reed’s String Theory, This is a beautiful little shows from the Adelaide locals. The circus space is increasingly crowded at festival time, and I hope Olio can continue to forge its niche of difference.