Monday 15 April 2019

NEON - Melbourne International Comedy Festival review

With excessive amounts of parachute clothing, big hair and neon colours, it's definitely a trip down memory lane for many attending Circus Oz's Melbourne International Comedy Festival show, NEON. In its fast-paced hour, NEON treats its audiences to some rad circus tricks, wicked tunes and vocals and totally cool dance moves. 

The bitchin' soundtrack includes hits like Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax", Prince's "Purple Rain" and the Ghostbusters theme song. These songs are incorporated into acts where movements and tricks are brilliantly timed to peak when the chorus kicks in or a memorable part of the song begins. Despite being upside down during Phil Collins' "In The Air Tonight", Ian Richardson's handstand canes act leads to some very fancy footwork and Poppy Fairbairn and Zion Martin's Risley (foot juggling) act is taken to the next level when accompanied by Bonnie Tyler's "I Need A Hero". Apart from being gifted circus performers, Lisa Lottie, Richard Sullivan, Fairbairn, Martin and Richardson take on individual personas / stereotypes of the 80s that they are clearly having a lot of fun with and keep them going throughout the night. Lottie’s “bad girl” image is particularly entertaining to see unfold during her ongoing contortionist act.

Cabaret performer Geraldine Quinn is in her element under this crazy spiegeltent, keeping the reins on the troupe when needed and making sure she also has control of the audience. There is a a formidable presence to Quinn when she is on stage – especially in that large orange wig - and when she belts out her numbers, the entire room listens. Her rendition of Robert Palmer's "Simply Irresistible" with Richardson and Martin hilariously recreating the original choreography and demeanour of the "Robert Palmer Girls" is both a fitting homage to the 80s and a nod to contemporary times with regards to gender and equality. While Sarah Seahorse’s amazing work on the costumes for NEON needs to be recognised, the spandex dresses during this number were the icing on the cake. 

There is so much to take in with NEON due to its never-ending avalanche of tricks, music and spandex. Under the watchful eye of director Malia Walsh, all six performers know exactly what's expected of them and how to give the audience exactly what they came for: an unforgettably mint night out. There’s only two opportunities left to catch this kick ass circus show, so book your tickets now or you’ll end up regretting it to the max.


Venue: The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston St, Collingwood.
Season: Until 20 April | Fri- Sat 10:00pm
Length: 60 minutes 
Tickets: $35 Full | $25 Conc
Bookings: MICF website

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