What happens when you put 12 kids and teenagers on a stage with a DJ and a tractor wheel? A circus... Which is exactly what the Creative Producer and CEO of Flipside Circus, Robert Kronk wants.
“It would be like a Cirque du Soleil show, but if everyone drank an awful lot of red cordial,” Robert laughs.
Flipside Circus will be presenting their show ‘Revolve’ at Redland Performing Arts Centre.
Flipside is Queensland’s largest youth arts company with a national reputation for supporting Queensland's circus sector, the performers train at Alderley Circus Centre.
With circus performers ranging in ages from nine to seventeen, it comes as a shock just how dedicated and talented these kids are.
“They [the performers] are in here training three times a week and working on their skills… Our young people aren’t just here to learn they are artists in their own right, they have stuff they want to say themselves, so they helped build the show,” Robert explains.
Flipside Circus is open to getting the performers as involved in the creative process as possible.
“When a show like this comes up, what we try to do is get our young artists to collaborate with experienced artists and get them in the room together and it’s a really nice two-way learning process,” Robert says.
'Revolve' was originally commissioned by the Commonwealth Games last year and has also appeared at the Woodford Folk Festival and in Gympie.
“We spent four or five months preparing before that [the Commonwealth Games] but we basically rebuilt the show with new performers for this year's season,” Robert says.
The show has a very fitting storyline, it is set in a school playground so all of the performers are in school uniform costumes.
“The story of 'Revolve' is that our performance troupe are bursting at the seams full of energy and essentially trying to run amok and we have a teacher figure trying to keep a lid on things.
“The whole show is really about what happens when we get to take the lid off and see what happens. So it's a fun show, really fun,” Robert explains.
The name of the show is in reference to the theme and use of wheels throughout the performance.
“We are building a show about revolutions, revolve, wheels and circles. We are using a group bike, rollerblades, hover-boards and scooters and we were just thinking what more possible wheels could we throw at this?
“We just so happened to have a tractor tyre and a tube and wondered what it would look like and it looked really cool so we found a way to work that in,” Robert says.
As a creative industries practitioner, Robert is very open to fresh ideas and opinions, which is why he works so well with young performers.
“Find your own voice and don’t be frightened of speaking your own voice, it’s what I love about working at Flipside, I really love working with these incredible young artists who have amazingly good ideas,” Robert says.
'Revolve' is intended to ignite joy within its audience. “It’s upbeat, joyous, rebellious. It’s a show of celebration so if they walk out with a spring in their step then we’ve done our job.”
'Revolve' plays Redland Performing Arts Centre 30 May.