Monday 28 September 2015

Bodies Over Bitumen review - Melbourne Fringe

This year's Melbourne Fringe Festival has seen a variety of circus performances using the art form to create some highly unique shows. There's been glow in the dark circus and circus that is inspired by climate change, and now with Bodies Over Bitumen, there is outdoor circus that takes us out to the streets of North Melbourne.

We follow the three performers, Skye Gellmann, Alexander Gellmann and Naomi Francis, down side streets and main roads as they perform various tricks and acrobatics. Similar to other Fringe Festival shows, Suburbia and CitydashBodies Over Bitumen invites its audience to look at their surroundings in a new light and to take notice of what is there. 

The silks routine off a tree on Errol Street was quite mesmerising to watch, with quite a few passers-by also stopping from their evening outings to admire. Looking up to Francis as she spun herself around and climbed up the rope, surrounded by all the leaves and branches felt fairytale-like.

Similarly, the finale with Skye Gellmann's pole routine on a street pole was well choreographed and displayed some amazing strength. It was a great way to finish but sadly, the rest of the evening failed to leave any impression on me. There was a lot of waiting and watching for things to happen and when they did, the build up was not justified. One act involved a piece of flint being scraped on the road and watching a few sparks for five minutes, which did not create a sense of wonderment from the audience. 

Bodies Over Bitumen wants us to acknowledge how landscape and environment play a big part of who we are. I only wish the performers had attempted to develop some of these ideas further as it has the potential to be an eye opening show and create real curiosity in people's minds. Instead, it is a show that seems to have taken a few wrong turns in determining what journey it wants to take us on.

Venue: Meet on the steps Fringe HubArts House, 521 Queensberry St, North Melbourne, 3051
Season: Until 3 October | Tues-Sat 6.30pm
Tickets:$23 Full | $18 Conc | $14 Cheap Tuesday

* Original review appeared on Theatre Press on 28 September

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