Melbourne Fringe: Moi

CircArts GeelongMoi is an offering from the class of 2019 ‘adult students’ of CircArts, based in Geelong. The byline for the show was “It’s all about me…” and circus buffs in the audience will probably arrive at this conclusion before too long.

These women of CircArts have only been rehearsing this particular show for about two months, and sometimes rough edges could make this obvious. These days, the ‘Circus’ part of a Fringe program tends to have a high standard of technical prowess and entertainment – Railed and Yuck Circus (immediately after this offering), just recently, are good examples.

At times, Moi was unable to compete. Some acts seemed somewhat under-rehearsed, or lacking in the ‘wow factor’ we want from circus. Often the show needed stronger direction. Rarely would you have “dead air” in a professional circus show, but here a performer might leave the stage casually after her act with no music playing, dissipating the scene’s energy.

Whilst there were attempts to distract us from the setup for the next act, this could be pedestrian. The company would do well to see how other troupes manage these transitions in a more snappy manner.

The Fringe blurb promised an exploration of “instant gratification and tantalising suspense” – maybe there was some of the former; in reality we were much closer to a burlesque-style of performers titillating the audience. Some of these scenes were well coordinated, and rather more sexy than you may expect of a 6:30pm show. As seen earlier this Fringe, the online guide entry more accurately described the show than did the paper guide.

There were some bright spots – a pair of performers on a suspended hoop showed impressive strength and flexibility. A solo hoop routine after was also good, even if we might wonder why we needed two. Some contortionism had eye-popping moments, and balancing from a ring-in cleaning boy (?) showed good control.

For sheer nuttiness and character development, the Lemonade Girl who is not as sweet as she seems certainly took us in a very Fringe-worthy direction. There were some good choices in music and costuming here, and the company did enough to suggest potential.


Moi
The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street Collingwood
Performance: Friday 20 September 2019 – 6:30pm
Season continues to 28 September 2019
Information and Bookings: www.melbournefringe.com.au

Image: courtesy of CircArts

Review: Jason Whyte

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