Australian identity explored in new Circus Oz performance


Circus Oz's latest performance is exploring what it means to be Australian.

A new performance by Circus Oz is using daring acrobatics and slapstick comedy to provoke Australians to explore their sense of identity.

Rob Tannion, the artistic director of Circus Oz, said his experience overseas inspired him to produce the show.

"I've been living out of Australia in other people's countries for about 23 years, and so getting the job as the artistic director of Circus Oz and coming back here kind of made me question what does it mean to be Australian?"

Rose Chalker McGann performs.
Rose Chalker McGann performs.

Circus Oz has been touring internationally for decades and this year it will be kicking off its 40th-anniversary entertaining audiences with its new show at the Sydney Festival held through January.

Set inside a model kit world with a larger-than-life clothes peg, safety pin, and scissors, the show looks at identity, class and diversity.

"Nowadays we have to tick so many boxes of who we are and what we are and actually is that right?” Mr Tannion said.

"Are we better that we are individuals that are living within these boundaries but not exactly boxed in by them?"

The cast has used the show to reflect upon their own identities.

Alex Weibel Weibel performs.
Alex Weibel Weibel performs.

Acrobat Rose Chalker McGann said: "My mother is English and she married an Irishman and I spent 10 years there.

"And so I have kind of been brought up all over the world and Circus Oz has brought me back to my... I suppose an area of my culture that I haven't really explored properly."

Alex Weibel Weibel, a slack rope performer, said he draws on his American-Spanish roots when melding circus artistry with playing the violin.

"I think that's what the magic of circus is, it's a combination of different cultures, different backgrounds and how everybody comes together with different skills and you still understand each other," Mr Weibel Weibel said.


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