Arts / Circus festival full of surprises and laughs

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Idris Stanton this morning

IT’LL be a case of “Wham Glam Circus Man!” when Canberra’s Warehouse Circus launches its 2018 “Circus for Life” Festival tonight (November 8) with a show of the same name.

“CityNews” caught up with seasoned professional circus artist and the show’s director, Idris Stanton, this morning on stage at Belconnen Community Theatre as he put his youthful prodigies through the paces of a work, which, in a different iteration won “best circus” at both Adelaide and Melbourne Fringes for its display of dazzling skills and tricks – all performed to “Glam Rock” music tracks.

A veteran of Goulburn’s Lieder Theatre youth wing, Stanton left town about 14 years ago to study at Melbourne’s National Institute of Circus Arts, but has returned to the region to assist Warehouse Circus in staging a showstopper to kick off the event.

“I see circus as entertainment rather than art,” he says.

“I want to get the endorphins going and make people feel happy, I want to show them something I haven’t seen before to give them a surprise.

“If a plate smashes on stage you know it’s a real act — circus is always a case of human beings in the room together.

“I’m often asked whether I have hurt myself, but I tell the kids it’s all about calculated risk, you just have to practice hard—the audience only sees the last part.”

Members of the circus troupe

“Wham Glam Circus Man!” is only the tip of the iceberg. Another show at Belconnen Community Theatre from November 16 to 24 will be “Journeys in my hat”, performed to an original score by Leonard Weiss and DSine and played by selected musicians from Canberra Theatre Orchestra.

“UnchARTed territory” at Belconnen Theatre on November 19 and 20, will be a showcase series of art form collaborations.

“Yak Labs” at Belconnen Theatre will feature workshops on subjects like “Using Circus In Education”, “Creating A Show From Scratch” and “Using Circus for Occupational Therapy”.

At UC Kaleen High School on November 17 and 18 there will be free “come and try” workshop for all ages and skill levels, where anyone can learn juggling, diabolo, trick sticks, hula-hoop, plate-spinning and other skills.

“Cabaret in the sky”, which is also free at UC Kaleen High School on November 17 and 18, will combine a barbecue with aerial artists performing sky-high tricks – and, they say, visitors can try it too.

Circus for Life Festival 2018, November 8-24. Bookings and all venues details as

“Wham Glam Circus Man!”, at Belconnen Community Theatre, Swanson Court, Belconnen, 8pm, November 8- 10. Bookings to






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Helen Musa
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