Close to the Bone with Circus Oz

Circus Oz_Close to the Bone_Lilikoi Kaos_Rob Blackburn AARCircus Oz returns to Melbourne this December, disembodying the ensemble to present an intimate two-­week season of a new work Close to the Bone at The Melba Spiegeltent in Collingwood.

Breathing down your neck, exploring concepts of space and proximity, Close to the Bone deconstructs the large-­scale productions that Circus Oz currently tour to present a contiguous show for The Melba Spiegeltent, raising provocative questions of secrets, honesty and physicality – all too close for comfort!

Bringing their established skills to the wooden floorboards of The Melba Spiegeltent, Close to the Bone will feature a new mixture of collaboration between the Circus Oz ensemble as they conceal and reveal the complexities of being ‘close to the bone’ through an acrobatic lens, complimented by the effusive musical virtuosity of Ania Reynolds and Ben Hendry.

A rare opportunity to see Circus Oz in Melbourne outside the Circus Oz Big Top season, Close to the Bone is pure, quintessential Circus Oz – close enough to kick, powerful yet vulnerable and with humour that is precariously close to the funny bone.

First commissioned to perform an intimate Blue Show for the Adelaide Festival (2004), Circus Oz has only presented three of these boutique seasons – all of which sold out. Close to the Bone is directed by Circus Oz Associate Director Debra Batton in collaboration with Simon Yates and Jo Lancaster from the inventive company acrobat.

Debra Batton appeared with Circus Oz from 1993 – 1995 and from 1996 – 2009 was a performer and Artistic Director of Legs on the Wall, where she created and featured in over 30 productions including the Helpmann award-­winning production On the Case. Debra has also worked across Australia’s outback, in independent theatre, in China as the circus director for a pre-­school television series, as artist in residence at the Women’s Circus and lectured at National Institute of Circus Art.

Simon Yates and Jo-­Ann Lancaster founded acrobat in the mid 1990s and create a blend of astonishing acrobat techniques with a highly personal vision of modern society. Simon and Jo-­Ann’s shared desire to go against the tide of contemporary escalation can be seen in the anti-­aesthetic of their productions. They are raw, without compromise, focused on the personality of the acrobat and mix acrobatic perfection with a ferocious, dry sense of humour.

Formerly located at Docklands, The Melba Spiegeltent is a 100-­year old Belgian mirror tent that has finally arrived at its permanent home at the Circus Oz headquarters in Collingwood. Launched in August 2014 with the successful anniversary season of Finucane and Smith’s Glory Box, The Melba Spiegeltent burst into renewed life as a Melbourne performance venue including productions for this year’s Melbourne Fringe Festival.

“The intimacy of the new venue is a far cry from Big Top spectacle: every straining muscle and focused breath is mere metres away” – The Sunday Age

Close to the Bone
The Melba Spiegeltent – Circus Oz, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Season: 11 – 21 December 2014
Bookings: 136 100 or online at: www.

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Lilikoi Kaos – photo by Rob Blackburn