Review: Flying Fruit Fly Circus’ Stunt Lounge – The Studio, Sydney Opera House (Performances to 17th April 2016)

Stunt Lounge is the first in a new collaborative arrangement between the Flying Fruit Fly Circus and the Sydney Opera House, where recent graduates – and those at the end of their time with the Youth circus – get the opportunity to perform in the prestigious venue. Its aim is to bridge the gap between the youth program and the professional circus arena, which both attracts a variety in their audience and serves as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the circus’ finest exports.

But while they may be young performers, if you were expecting anything less than a phenomenal (not to mention professional) production, you would be gladly mistaken. Stunt Lounge sets the bar high for the program, and for the genre at large, playing with the bare essentials of the genre and giving it enough flair to make it sit comfortably alongside other acclaimed works of its kind.

The hour long show doesn’t play too heavily with anything you’ve seen before – without giving too much away, there are balancing acts, plenty of backflips, some fantastic hula hoop work that sits as much as a contemporary dance piece as it does a circus act, there are aerial acts, more backflips and a bed of nails. All the beats of its tradition are on display too – there’s a good amount of slapstick, comedy and even romance. And there’s an inspired rope act to close out the night, with some of the best use of light you’ll see at any show this year.

Not everything “amazes” but it doesn’t need to. Director Darcy Grant – an acrobat of his own acclaim who makes his directorial debut here – has wrapped his show up so neatly with great staging, a spectacular score, simple but well considered lighting and excellent performances by the five young talents, that it’s without question entertaining, engaging and occasionally thrilling from start to finish.

Overall, Stunt Lounge delivers exactly what it says on paper – with some spectacular stunts, all prepared in a schmick, stunning production that helps make it something that is much more than the sum of its parts. Come and enjoy these incredibly talented young performers before the show flies out the door on 17th April. For tickets and more details head HERE.

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Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.

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