upbeat crowd eagerly awaited the go ahead to secure their seat in the West
Australian Spiegeltent tent ahead of Perth’s opening performance of A Simple
Space byGravity and Other Myths. A hefty reputation precedes this
one, with awards and rave reviews aplenty and 600 performances to date, safe to
say I was excited to make my way into the big-ish top.
attendance were families with toddlers, young couples, older couples, you name
it there was someone ticking the demographic box. An encouraging sight to see.
I even overheard some chatter from people saying this was their second time
watching the show and they just had to see it again. There was positive
energy in abundance, with members of the crowd making sure that those with
younger children had clear views of the stage, which was positioned centrally
with us wrapped around tightly on all three sides.
crowd settled and our performers entered, looking perhaps nervous, but
radiating the thrill of pre-show adrenaline. Before we have time to get
familiar with each other, it’s straight into the first high impact act. Cast
members shout “Falling! and spritely percussion fills the space, as the cast
sprint to catch one another just before they hit the ground. It’s an instant
hit of fun and high energy, asserting a solid tone for what’s to come.
by Chris Herzfel
show’s pace and content is varied well, broken down through the use of almost
miniature competitions between the athletes. Think ‘who can do a handstand for
the longest’ but done by professional acrobats. That almost primal sense of
human competitive spirit is infectious and thrilling to watch (particularly as
one or two cast members start getting their kit off).
‘circus’ might initially offer connotations of clowns and animals doing things
we’re really not that comfortable watching; A Simple Space not only
quickly corrects these prejudgements but demonstrates the best of what modern
circus has to offer. Without the aid of any colourful ribbons, elaborate props or tricks of the
eye, this show is literally entertainment created out of thin air, relying only
on the astounding capabilities and power of raw human strength. Other shows of
this nature can leave you covering your eyes; with A Simple Space you
can’t actually take your eyes off it. Instead, the show relies on
openness and trust between performers and us as an audience. The end result is
a feeling of a real human connection and a true appreciation for what you’ve
course, this is a show and of course there’s been rehearsals, but the emotions
felt in the precise moment of each manoeuvre are indeed very real. It’s
incredibly immersive, with everything taking place on a stage that’s well
within reaching distance. The physicality of the feats achieved in this show
can only be looked at in awe, delivered by artists who have devoted so much of
themselves to performance and the art form.
A Simple Space is high-impact, high-energy, raw, minimalist, modern
circus excellence and a show I would confidently recommend to just about
had the absolute pleasure of catching up with A Simple Space performer
and tour manager Annalise Moore. She’s very happy to be back performing in
Perth, even if the heat does make things that little bit more difficult.
How does it feel to be performing at Perth Fringe Festival?
really like Perth Fringe. I’ve been before with a different show, as you can
tell it was very hot in the tent at 1.30pm so there was a bit of slipperiness
to deal with! But Perth Fringe is great. Great community, so much happening.
So being in that tent with the added heat makes it even more difficult?
especially for our show. We’re already pushing ourselves to the limit so you’re
already getting hot without it being temperature hot. It’s just an added risk
factor but we try our best to keep it safe!
So you’re tour manger and performer is that correct? That must keep you
a little bit of extra work! But it’s good because usually with our shows we
don’t actually start work until about 5pm and then we just do a show in the
evening, so we’re generally free in the day so I thought why not I can do a bit
of extra work! I’m happy to do that and it’s good experience too.
How long have you been with Gravity and Other Myths and how long have
you been performing A Simple Space?
been with the company and doing a simple space or about 2 years now. But the
show is actually about 6 years and 2 years ago they got a completely new cast
so they could continue doing it and make a new show.
Would you say the show has changed over the years?
there’s still the same basic formula because they still want to sell the same
show, but different people have different body types and different skill sets
so we’ve of course we’ve made it our own so we can be our genuine selves. Other
than that the transition has been smooth and we’re super happy with how the
show is going.
You mention people having different skillsets, does everyone come from
different backgrounds and have things they prefer to do?
Different backgrounds, some are youth circus which the company actually started
out as, so those people did circus when they were young. Me myself I did
gymnastics for about 10 years before dong circus so we’ve got gymnastics,
dance, circus we’ve got our musician. Even people who didn’t have much
experience in circus at all that kind of transitioned later on.
What would you say makes circus, circus? How would you define it?
it’s actually very broad and it can be a lot of different things, but I guess
our show is pretty acrobatic. We don’t have a lot of props there’s no aerial
rigs or things like that, no juggling or clowns really. When people think of
circus they sometimes think of the traditional tent style maybe even animals,
and we’re like no no! It’s just us doing acrobatic skills with each other and nothing
And you personally, what made you want to go into circus?
actually was a super nice transition that happened naturally. I was super
worried, after school I was stressing out like I do not know what I want to do
with my life, I applied for uni but really wasn’t too keen and then found
circus after. I was going to gym still and then we saw people that were doing
circus and thought that looks fun let’s try that! From then on I auditioned for
the circus school In Melbourne and instantly loved it and thought this what I
want to do.
A large amount of these manoeuvres must require a high level of trust
between you all, how do you build that level of trust with each other?
all known each for one to two years at least so that’s how you kind of build up
that trust there but the show itself is fun and light-hearted. It’s got games,
so you would have seen with the first act which is based on the trust falling
games where other cast members have to catch them. Even though that is
choreographed in the end it’s based off things that help you build trust with
A lot of the audience get really into it during the performance, do you
find this adds pressure? Talk me through it!
helps, the audience really get engaged and involved it’s very up close and
personal. They could literally probably feel sweat coming off us because we
have people sitting so close on the sides and at the front, giving an almost
180 view of everything.
then personally I would say it does add pressure but a good kind of pressure.
My handstand act for example, every member of the cast grabs and audience
member brings them up onto stage and lies underneath me while I do handstands
on top of them. So for me it’s just pressure because obviously I don’t want to
fall on an audience member! But it allows me to always be switched on and challenges
me for each show.
What’s going through your mind during those moments? How do you achieve
that level of focus?
would honestly say it just comes with experience. I’m much more comfortable
now, doing the show for two years definitely helps. It was definitely more
nerve-wracking in the beginning especially having that added pressure, but you
just get better with time really.
And finally, why do you think people should come and watch A Simple
think most people enjoy it. It’s very family friendly, lots of high-level
skills, very genuine, no costumes, no characters, you can just see who we are
and what we’re doing together; having fun on stage and hopefully the audience
is just having fun with us!
love to get as many people in as possible to share what we do, so come along!
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