NICA presents Sick - photo by Kieran McnamaraI lived in Prahran for two years, and even after I moved, it was still some time before I found out that tucked away off Chapel Street was this remarkable school and creative foundry. Sick is NICA’s (National Institute of Circus Arts) showcase for their third-year ensemble.

Conceived and directed by Gavin Marshall, Sick explores the location of a hospital and the people within it. While threads of story work their way through the show, it’s the thematic beats that most strongly move things along.

Supported by some lovely work on respective lights and sound by Richard Vabre and J. David Franzke, this medicinal bacchanal did that difficult double act of providing spectacle, yet also emotionally drawing you in.

Choreographer and Movement Director, Meredith Kitchen, plays with scale throughout the show – from the extremely small (would-be patients moving around and on a waiting room chair) to the considerably not – such as the fantastic aerial larks of running, slipping, dropping, and swinging on the giant pole at the beginning of Act 2.

There’s very little fixed in place, much of the locations framed and moved through via the use of light flats, whether it’s a wall, a changing room, or even a corridor as it’s walked down. There’s wonderful storytelling by the cast hitting poignant beats with the same commitment and effectiveness as they do the physical ones. Those final seconds and the shape they give Sick overall were particularly beautifully rendered.

With just five performances left, Sick is not to be missed. I’m sure your Doctor would concur – take one of NICA and call me in the morning!

NICA Circus Centre, 39 – 59 Green Street, Prahran
Performance: Saturday 30 November 2019 – 7.30pm
Season continues to 7 December 2019
Information and Bookings:

Image: NICA presents Sick – photo by Kieran Mcnamara

Review: David Collins