Thursday, 13 September 2018

Kilter - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

Finding balance in life is not easy. You want to spend time with friends, but you need to study. You want to have that double chocolate chip ice-cream but you should really go to the gym. It is hard work, and in One Fell Swoop's new circus show, Kilter, the science and ideals behind balance are brilliantly brought to the surface.

Using a never-before seen circus apparatus called a "slackboat", performers Charice Rust and Jonathan Morgan offer a refreshing perspective on what circus can be. The duo take their time as they work through each act, making sure that every piece of equipment or prop is utilised to its full potential, which at one point even includes eating it. It's a tight production that keeps the momentum going throughout with the performers acutely aware of when it is time to move on to something else.

While images of the slackboat can be seen, it's not until you're seated in the venue that you begin to realise its enormity. The force and speed at which it can rock and the weight of the object could easily overshadow Rust and Morgan, but they show great command in controlling the slackboat. While there might have been a few wobbles and a fall on opening night, it conveniently supports the theme of Kilter by highlighting the difficulty of finding and maintaining balance.

Balance is not just explored in its literal sense with the acrobatics on display but also in terms of mental and emotional balance. At one point, blueprints of the slackboat are projected onto the back wall, audio recordings of Rust and Morgan discussing concepts of balance and how the apparatus was made and operates are played and Melbourne violinist beatsmith, ORCHA creates a perfectly suited live score for the show, all take place as Rust and Morgan perform their routines. While it could easily have turned into a cacophony of noise and visuals, these elements comes together so fluidly that you are able to sit back and reflect on what is being asked of us.

This independent circus troupe's ability of executing impressive acrobatics while allowing the audience to consider their own lives is skilfully conceived. The fact that we are also incredibly entertained while doing so further cements the talent they possess. If One Fell Swoop is not on your arts radar, they certainly will be after seeing Kilter.

Show Information

Venue: Theatre Works, 14 Acland St, St Kilda. 
Season: Until 16 September | 7pm 
Length: 45 minutes
Tickets: $28 Full 
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

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