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Review: Circus Oz – Aurora at Royal Botanic Gardens

The Circus Oz Big Top has returned to the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne for their latest show Aurora. This family-friendly show comes at the perfect time for the Spring School Holidays.

Circus Oz has been producing extraordinary shows both nationally and internationally for over 40 years, and for many years has engaged in issues associated with social justice. In their new show Aurora, they tackle issues that are linked to Global Warming and the impact of humans on this planet.


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Review: Circus Oz – Aurora
Image: Josie Wardrope & Sam Aldham. Photo: Mark Turner

I attended the Opening Gala Night Show with my daughter. The pre-show entertainment had performers dressed as penguins in tight black bodysuits and bright orange shoes, waddling through the audience while throwing clear beach balls. This was a fun way to warm the crowd.

The show commenced with sassy trapeze penguins soaring through the air, followed by a cabaret singing polar bear.

Review: Circus Oz – Aurora
Image: Matty Brown. Photo- MarkTurner

With each passing act, it became breathtakingly clear that the Circus Oz performers are outrageously talented! Whether it was acrobatics, foot-juggling, flying, swinging or Chinese pole and fish fights. Each performers is a master of their craft.

Review: Circus Oz – Aurora
Photo: Mark Turner

The stand out performances for me were the Washington Trapeze and Hoola hoops. Both performed by the very talented Adam Malone. I have never witnessed a performer balancing in a headstand on a trapeze, it was terrifying to watch and I will never know how he did it!
Later Adam took Hula hooping to a breathtaking new level.


Review: Circus Oz – Aurora
Image: Adam Malone. Photo: Mark Turner

“Spectators will be blown away by the physical skills of the acrobats as we poke fun at our absurdities, realign our wrongdoings and aspire to reach new heights. Our ensemble will transport you to another world as we draw on the pristine beauty of the elements, exploring what was, what is and what could be.”
Circus Oz Artistic Facilitator
Kate Fryer

Review: Circus Oz – Aurora
Image: Jillibalu Riley & Selene Messinis. Photo: Mark Turner

The theme of Global Warming was weaved throughout the show.
Diminishing beautiful light ice projections were cast on the stage floor, performers removed plastic bags from their ropes highlighting their pervasive presence everywhere. 

Jeremy Hopkins and Selene Messinis did an amazing job producing the original live music and vocal score for the stage beautifully complimented the performance.



The Circus Oz Artistic Facilitator Kate Fryer and all performers deserve a big congratulations, for such a spectacular show.

Date: 18 September–6 October 2019
Time: varies showtimes (70 min show with no interval)
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, Melbourne Gardens, Southern Cross Lawn
Price: $25–$60 (plus booking fees)
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