Wasteland: Flipside Circus Provides A Glimpse Into Our Possible Future

'Wasteland' 'Wasteland'

Flipside Circus are asking audiences what the world will be like when the young people of today are living as adults in the future.


This interpretation, 'Wasteland', explores survival and the potential to reshape and repurpose earth. Flipside replace normal circus apparatus with recycled materials and scraps for an extra immersive experience.

Here, Flipside Creative Producer Robert Kronk and Performer Nina O'Brien answer questions about 'Wasteland'.

This show is all about the future and what is going to become of the world. Why was it important to explore these themes?
Robert: The themes were developed by Flipside's performance troupe, a group of young artists ranging in ages from 8-17 working with their trainers, Chelsea (McGuffin, circus artist) and myself. The troupe really drove the creative development of this show – they knew the ideas they wanted to explore and what they wanted to say. Young people will shape the future and will have to deal with the problems they inherit.
Nina: It is important for people to realise what the consequences of our actions are and this show allows people to take a glimpse into the future and see what the world could potentially end up looking like if we continue down this wasteful path.

This isn't a brand new show, so to speak. What has changed since 'Wasteland' was born, if anything?
Robert: The show is constantly changing and evolving – the wonderful thing about a circus show is it's never static. The performers skills are constantly changing and developing and the show is doing the same thing.  
Nina: From when we first started brainstorming the show to where we are now we have all become more educated and aware especially of how wasteful we are which has let to people coming up with solutions and ideas for the show.

Wasteland 1

What have you learned in regards to the show since it was born?
Robert: Now that the show has premiered and the overall shape is set there's more time to play and find new and interesting ways to move from idea to idea.
 
'Wasteland' swaps some of your typical apparatus for new things… Tell us more!
Nina: In 'Wasteland' we have swapped normal apparatus like trapeze for things like tyres and nets. this creates very abstract acts and ensures interest from our audience.  
Robert: With 'Wasteland' we set ourselves the challenge of not using any traditional circus apparatus and building the set and the whole show from recycled materials. The challenge (and the fun) of creating this show has been about recycling and reusing objects into circus apparatus. Some of things seem like they would be pretty straight forward – swapping a lyra for an old tyre suspended from the roof. But tyres are much heavier, harder to get into and out of, they move differently so the performers have had to spend a lot of time playing and finding the best way to make use of the set. One of my favourite moments is using an old bicycle inner-tube as as a hula-hoop.
 
What kinds of roles are some of the kids in this show playing?
Robert: The performers have created a really rich ensemble, their own tribe – it's a bit like the lost boys in 'Peter Pan', the performers work as a team but also have complex social and status structures.   
Nina: We are loosely playing children who are stranded on this small floating collection of wood and plastic and only have each other and the things on the island to entertain us.

Wasteland 2
 
And further to that, what can audiences expect in terms of tricks and flips?
Robert: There's a lot of tumbling and acro mixed with aerial apparatus – a giant cargo net, a tyre, ropes, and a pole.
Nina: Our tricks are directly based on the set and we incorporate the set into our tricks.
 
As Flipside's Creative Producer, what has been your role in preparing this production?
I've worked as dramaturge on the show – basically my role has been to help make sure that the themes and ideas come through the performance.  

In an ideal world, what are audiences thinking and feeling as they leave 'Wasteland'?
Robert: Hope.  
Nina: Leave with an appreciation of the world we live in and try to preserve the world as it is and not let it slip any further into a wasteland.

'Wasteland' plays Redland Performing Arts Centre 5 October.

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