Uncovered is a circus show with a twist. A young man enters a bar, he is a stranger here and the rules are that anything goes in this place. With a variety of contemporary circus acts, Uncovered explores the concept of first time encounters and sensual moments with others. Presented as part of the Midsumma Festival, it's bound to leave audiences feeling a little more than hot under the collar.
The director and choreographer of Uncovered, Dave Coombs, has brought together recent graduates and current students of the National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), the only training institution of its kind in the country. Coombs has been more than impressed with the display of talent he has witnessed and can't wait to unleash them onto his audiences. "You can expect high energy performances and skill levels far beyond what you'd expect from people that are still studying or have only just completed their studies. In rehearsals their attitudes have been so enthusiastic and eager to make sure the audiences have a good time first and foremost so you can expect just that."
Apart from the fresh new talent on display, Coombs is also hoping the unique direction of the show will leave its mark on audiences. "Uncovered is taking a Cabaret style format, but with more elements of group performances and elements of storytelling. Rather than a broad sweeping storyline, the show is tackling different elements of 'first times' and bringing them to life with Circus and a smattering of dance in there to keep things moving along.
The inspiration for Uncovered came from Coombs' personal experiences growing up as a gay man. "My sexuality hasn't always been an easy thing to talk about or express, so this show is in part the next step in being able to move past the part of my life where I felt like it was something to keep quiet about or be ashamed of," he explains. "It just felt right to make that change in the form of doing something I love and having a good time doing it."
"I was traveling a lot in the devising stage of making the show, so I had a lot of long bus rides to really focus my thoughts. The shows actually been through a few large rewrites accommodating for cast changes. The challenge with directing circus is that every performer comes with very different skills than the next one, so much of the show has been created by taking the concepts I wanted to show on stage and finding way to physically represent them with the different circus skills I had in my cast."
"With Uncovered, we're looking to tell everyday stories and explore them with same sex interactions," he says. "It's astounding how Hollywood still makes a big deal over same sex romance in their storylines, where we just want to present them as something natural (although in a funny and/or racy way). We do also have some moments where we poke a little fun at some of the latest trends in gay culture and the way gay guys in particular have decided they should act."
This journey of sexual celebration and coming out is something Coombs hope audiences will be able to not only enjoy but also relate to. "We just want people to walk out of the theatre with a smile of their face and have prompted the audience to reflect back on their first times. They're often messy, funny, or really tender and we want to help bring back good memories and maybe even help the people watching laugh at the times that didn't turn out so great."
Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park, 3206
Season: 27 - 30 January | Wed - Sat 8pm, Sat 5pm
Tickets: $28 Full | $20 Conc
Bookings: Midsumma Festival