Flipside Circus is returning to the Brisbane Powerhouse to present their newest show ‘Wasteland’ at Wonderland Festival 2017.
Developed by Flipside’s performance troupe, renowned circus artist Chelsea McGuffin, Flipside Creative Producer Robert Kronk, and Designer Josh McIntosh, ‘Wasteland’ explores potential, hope, resilience and survival, and poses the question, “What sort of world will young people inherit?”
“The idea behind ‘Wasteland’ came from a few places at once, but the drive for the show came through really strongly from the troupe and it’s imbued everything that happens in the show,” Robert Kronk explains. “The performers who range in age from 9-16 years were really interested in looking at the future because they have a big stake in it and Chelsea really wanted to attack a theme meatily, so it was a happy coming together of those two things. In addition to that, I was keen to do away with recognisable apparatus and all those elements came together really well.”
Crafting the entire set and circus apparatus from repurposed and recycled materials, ‘Wasteland’ re-imagines circus and what our future could be.
“We’re going to build a lot of the set out of water bottles, plastic containers and plastic bags, and we’ll try to use recycled timber for the things we need to build. For the apparatus, we’re not using anything that either wasn’t something else or couldn’t be used as something else. We’ve pulled apart and re-engineered an old couch to turn into a box of tricks, an entry and exit and a bit of unusual circus gear, and we’re working on getting some cargo netting to play with and see what we can do with.
“Instead of a lyra, we’re using a tyre swing which has been really interesting, because there’s a lot of things you can do in a lyra that you just can’t do in a tyre. But we’ve also discovered that there’s lots of things we can do, like running around on the outside, and playing outside of it as well as inside.”
Creating a junk maze for the 12 young circus artists to run around, slide down, tumble through and jump over on the Turbine Platform’s 6.1 metre wide by 4.8 metre deep stage has proven a welcome challenge.
“The size of the stage has actually turned out to be a really nice constraint to work with. The limitations of the smaller space means that set pieces fall away a bit, and the focus becomes more about the show, and those challenges are actually really exciting.”
Queensland’s largest youth circus company, Flipside Circus values children and young people as cultural creators, avoiding traditional teacher-student relationships in favour of artist-to-artist relationships.
“It’s great for our young artists to work with really experienced artists who know what they are doing inside and out, but I think it’s also great for us older artists to be around the energy, enthusiasm and raw drive that the young artists have. What a nine-year-old, what a fifteen-year-old and what a forty-year-old think of the same issue is really very different and really interesting, so it is a nice melting pot.”