Dystopia Review @ Adelaide Fringe 2020

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'Dystopia' 'Dystopia' Image © Morgan Sette

Circus and heavy metal combine with bone-rattling intensity in the gothic inspired performance ‘Dystopia’.


Presented by emerging company CircAxe – the brainchild of Adelaide-based musician Scott Reed and circus trainer and performer Chantelle Reed – ‘Dystopia’ features a talented cast (including youth from CircoBats Performance Troupe) and tells the dark story of a dying earth and the supernatural creatures that rose from its ashes.

A darkly-lit stage serves as the setting of this ominous new world, where mystical creatures rise from the swirling mists and foreboding shadows to taunt and tempt the audience. Clad in a series of simple yet beautifully designed costumes inspired by gothic and steampunk fashion; the performers (including producer/director Chantelle) draw you into their world with a series of daring aerial displays, impressively choreographed floor routines and jaw-dropping feats of fire artistry set to an original score written and performed by Scott Reed.

With his steampunk outfit and face partially concealed by a 'Phantom Of The Opera'-inspired mask, Scott delivers a foreboding performance as the ever-present king of darkness and his impressive guitar skills must be seen to be believed. Each piece perfectly complements the emotion of the performance it accompanies, taking the audience on a rollercoaster journey from the loud, heavy metal-inspired chaos of an uprising to the soft, melodic sounds of life ending and beginning and you don’t need to enjoy heavy metal to appreciate the complexity of Scott’s music.

With their simple stage design and reliance on music and costumes to capture your attention, Scott and Chantelle take audiences back to a simpler time where shows were about the performers (not the flashy extras) and the result is refreshingly entertaining. The darkness of the room creates an intimate viewing experience and, with no overly zealous light or multimedia displays to distract them, the audience is able to concentrate purely on the strength and skill of each performer.

‘Dystopia’ is an entertaining piece of escapism which is sure to put CircAxe on the map.

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