Geelong Showgrounds, December 16
Reviewed by Amanda Sherring
We all know how circus’ work, there’s the ringmaster giving us the laughs, the clown giving us even more and we’re ‘wowed’ by things we’ve seen before. But Cirque Africa is about so much more. If you go to any circus this year, I’d make sure that it’s this one.
Created by Winston Ruddle (affectionately known as Papa Africa) he also serves as the host for the night, welcoming you in with his charismatic and enveloping personality. A live African band plays from the start of the night, serving as the first massive difference to your usual circus performance. The performers even interact with the band.
The night starts off with a traditional African dance, jazzed up a little bit for the audience, but a starting point for the culture that seeps its way through each and every act. As the acts roll through, jaws are left hanging and verbal remarks of surprise are heard echoed throughout the tent. What makes the show even more impressive is the ability of the performers and the seemingly limited exertion it takes – a firm and honest smile is plastered on each performers face, showing just how humbled they are to performing in front of you on the night.
The real surprise for me came with the contortionists, I can say this honestly and without doubt, that I can’t understand how it’s humanly possible for someone to move like that. I’ve seen contortionists on TV, but not like this. It really has to be seen to be believed. A mention also goes towards the Hakuna Matata Acrobats who throw each other around, balance on heads and execute other acrobatic feats with ease.
Cirque Africa will have you leaving the tent in awe at what the human body can achieve, appreciation for them travelling the world showcasing their skills and the urge to go see it again.