Thursday, 28 November 2019

You & I - Midsumma Festival preview

Formed in Brisbane, circus troupe Casus has always been proud of the diversity of its company and the performances they created. It is this vision that has led them to become internationally recognised as leaders in contemporary circus. With five works unders their belt, this summer two of its performers hit the Midsumma Festival with You & I, a touching and intimate exploration of a relationship between two men in love.

"You & I is a glimpse into these mens' lives," performer and co-founder of Casus, Jesse Scott says. "They are in a yurt in a subtropical rainforest of northern NSW. As they spend their time together, they perform a number of circus and dance acts, from trapeze to chair balances, from tango to hula hooping, and from acrobatics to a bit of silly magic but it all expresses the love, affection and joy felt by these people."

Performing with Scott is Lachlan Macaulay, another Casus co-founder (Natano Fa’anana rounding out the list), who also happens to be Scott's real-life partner. Some couples may find the strain of working together in such an intimate production difficult but for Scott and Macaulay, it was the opposite that was true. "It was definitely hard at points but if anything, our relationship grew stronger from this experience," Scott tells me. "This was the first time we made something outside of an ensemble so the physical pressure was high, as trying to fill an hour with circus is a big job. We devised and physicalised the show and even the set was predominantly built by us, which was physically and mentally exhausting, but throughout this we never argued and we were constantly there for each other."

While their personal circumstances have been positive, Scott was seeing much the opposite portrayed in gay relationships, inspiring the pair to stage this show. "For far too long we have seen the representation of gay characters in mainstream entertainment told through tragedy or heartache. This is not us or what we've encountered, so we thought it was important to tell a different story, one of happiness and acceptance and where being yourself is not a crime or results in death," he explains. "We live a life filled with love and laughter and we wanted to share this. You & I is a show that lets you forget it is about two men in love and focus on two people in love." 

Scott credits his years spent in the circus as a huge factor for having these experiences and would not be where he is today without this close-knit community. "We have been extremely fortunate to be a part of the circus for our whole lives, so we were not in a position of needing to find a supportive community like a lot of LGBTQ+ people have to," he says. "The circus community is full of love and support for all and can't wait to bring this out to Midsumma. This will be the first queer festival we have participated in and we are excited to finally get to participate in something as significant as this."

FIVE QUICKIES 

1. The one food you can’t live without? Broccoli. 
2. What is the worst smell in the world? Old eggs. 
3. What is the strangest fact you know? Donald Trump became president. 
4. How long would you last in a zombie apocalypse? I would like to think until the end but most likely I would be the last one to die just before salvation. 
5. Which animal are you most like? Emu in both looks and personality.

SHOW DETAILS

Venue: Gasworks Arts Park, 21 Graham St, Albert Park 

Season: 22 - 25 January | 7:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes 
Tickets: $40 Full | $32 Conc 
Bookings: Midsumma Festival 

Image Credits: Katie Bennett

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