Tuesday 10 December 2019

Big Glittery Sh!tshow - Midsumma Festival preview

They were the winners of the 2019 Gasworks Circus Showdown, and now Jack Wilde and Shona Cona return to Gasworks for Midsumma Festival to present their show that is bigger, more glittery and more chaotic than ever with Big Glittery Sh!tshow. Featuring Laney Mejias, the three performers are ready to have you leave your expectations and decorum at the door as they charm and disturb their unsuspecting audience with their bonkers antics and acrobatics.

It has been fun and games for Wilde and Cona since they met two years ago, but this threesome only recently got together formally. "I made contact with Laney a few years back on instagram when she lived in the USA, so we chatted online before she ended up moving here," Wilde recalls. "We then met Shona at a boardgames evening where her first words to me were, as she explained she could get too serious about playing, "I am not allowed to play boardgames anymore." I can confirm we’ve played many a boardgame since."

"Jack and I didn't actually start hanging out until Adelaide Fringe this year though," Cona adds. "In a daze of sweat, sunscreen, and glitter between shows, as we were both trying to catch some shade in the Gluttony artist bar, Jack proposed the idea of a knife-throwing act but instead of knives it was suction cup dildos. We then started talking about what kind of show that could be and we knew instantly we wanted to make the wildest, trashiest, most glittery one we could imagine. We sent in an application immediately to Circus Showdown as they closed that night!"

"I’d had the concept floating in my head of a show called Big Glittery Sh!tshow but didn’t have anywhere to place it until that moment. Shona loved it, so we applied for Gasworks Circus showdown with only a name and a very inappropriate thought," Wilde goes on to say.

Winning the competition provided them with the resources and opportunity to work on their show and mould it into a full length performance. "We knew we had something special and would ourselves love to watch, but we were unsure others would feel the same way," Cona explains. "Actually reaching the finals and then winning was the kick up the butts we needed to bring more of our crazy fantasies to life."

"The win meant we hit the ground running with options for festivals, funding to improve the show and the benefit of an award and an immediate reputation. Having Gasworks be equally as excited as us is amazing as this is our first time creating an independent show of this scale," Wilde tells me. "We went into it to see if anyone would bite and people began demanding platefuls! We used the momentum from winning to help us fund multiple seasons over the next few months and to get our little shit-baby off the ground and hopefully give it some legs!" 

While they have given the show plenty of legs, they have also given it a whole bunch of arms, heads and any other body part you can name, clearly living up to its title. "I can never recall if the name came from everything we do being big, glittery and very shit, or if we made everything in it to stay true to the name - which it does so much," Wilde says. "At any time, we’re throwing confetti, changing into a sparkly costume or doing weird as fuck shit."

"Our show is definitely loose. We love to sparkle and shine and we certainly love glitter but you can also expect to be surprised and stunned by circus skills and be left laughing in the aisles," Cona states. "It was recently described as '...it’s likely you’ll either be offended, disgusted, aroused or amused, or potentially a combination of all four...' and we think that's an accurate summation of what we set out to achieve. Our audience doesn't know what's coming next, we want them to be confused but mostly entertained."

Though the trio have been together for a relatively short time, they have been performing in circus individually for a number of years, making much of what they do appear effortless and seamless. "Jack, Laney and I have trained extremely hard to get to where we are and we will continue to train and upskill until our bodies won't let us. What we end up doing can come down to choosing which trick is safest in certain contexts and ensuring we have set up our venues and technical specifications to create not only eye-catching and entertaining show for the audience, but also the safest for us. There is a constant level of risk, but that's what makes it exciting!" Cona says.

Fortunately, the foundations of what circus is has ensured that there is always a new challenge or act to master, that keeps the troupe motivated. "Circus is something that I have never felt limited in," Wilde informs me. "Luckily with this being our show, we can add whichever gags or skills we like and while I’m glad that miming intense masturbation in front of people consistently gets a laugh, it’s not something I believed I would eventually call a career! Now that our creation and rehearsal period is over and we’re performing it, we can focus on individual skill training, which means that the more you see the show the more it's going to keep getting dangerous, hilarious and fucked up." 

With the stimulating big mess that Big Glittery Sh!tshow is, the creators hope to convey a message of positivity that anyone attending the show can take back with them. "A large aspect of it is about being open minded with regards to sexuality and gender as often as we can," Wilde describes. "We get naked without it being sexy and then it is and you can’t tell who’s gay or straight or who cares? I’m an androgynous glitter fiend, Shona is this dominating sexual brigade in what we lovingly refer to as a ‘bondage salami’ and Laney is this alluring muse who has a love triangle with ducks..."

"Our show is a celebration of doing whatever you want and a flying kick in the dick to being told what you can or can't do or say, or even what you can use a suction cup dildo for," Cano asserts. "We celebrate the love we have for having a good time doing what we love, with the people we love, for people who love other people. There is a lot wrong with the world, but we hope this is one of the things that's a little bit right, in the wrongest way possible."


1. The one food you can’t live without? 
Shona: Asian noodle soup! In any way it comes.
Jack: I would haunt the being into madness who takes away my ability to eat burritos.
2. What is the worst smell in the world?
Shona: Someone else's body odour on the train.

Jack: As I’ve recently discovered, it’s actually me, the morning after a bowl of JalapeƱo Poppers.
3. What is the strangest fact you know?
Shona: That groups of up to 10 male dolphins will form gangs and forcefully mate with a singular female dolphin (yeah, I thought they were cute until I found that out too).

Jack: One of the most commonly found fossils are coprolite fossils! Coprolite fossils are poo…Dinosaur poo. 
4. How long would you last in a zombie apocalypse?
Shona: I would like to think I have the skills to survive for many years as a badass zombie exterminator but in reality, I don't think I would make it more than a few weeks.

Jack: Even as someone who owns multiple large juggling knives, I still think I’d be thick enough to run out of the house and promptly be slain waving pink dildos in the air as I try to take on the apocalypse single-handedly. 
5. Which animal are you most like? 
Shona: A seal! Seals are so graceful and efficient in the water and so much more awkward and floppy on land. I kind of think of myself in a similar way, swimming and diving like a seal in my element (in the water) and still getting things done but taking a much longer and more awkward time to do it out of my element (on land).
Jack: In my mind, I’m a sexy, cunning fox. On paper, closer to a pet rock.


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

Season: 4 - 8 February | 9:30pm
Duration: 60 minutes 
Tickets: $30 Full | $28 Conc 
Bookings: Midsumma Festival

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