Monday, January 7, 2019

Meeting Mozart in a most entertainingly acrobatic way with Circa's Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus: Herald Sun Review

https://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/arts/mozart-inspires-new-team-of-acrobats/news-story/c25efe226d0f1d59b8e575856345c5da

Published online in Melbourne's Herald Sun on Thursday, 3rd January and in print Friday, 4th January, 2019


Created by Yaron Lifschitz and Benjamin Knapton, Brisbane-based Circa’s Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus celebrates a little party pantomime in the most entertainingly acrobatic way. The result is a divinely engrossing and intelligently devised one-hour show accompanied by a broad selection of Mozart’s melodic music.


Paul O'Keefe as Mozart in Wolfgang's Magical Musical Circus
Alone in her black and white furnished home, a young woman’s birthday is transformed into a magical journey with Mozart as she plays a record of his music. An initial hint of melancholia on her special day is quickly cured by Mozart’s larger-than-life entrance from her fridge. The wigged genius is cheeky, charismatic and boundlessly energetic. What is perceived to be given to her is the power of exuberant magic that uplifts her mood and releases her potential. In doing so, a seesawing game in the spotlight ensues in which a sweet equality between them is achieved.

Accordion player Gareth Chin, Paul O'Keefe and Kathryn O'Keefe make cup the cast of WolfgangÕs Magical Musical Circus. Picture: Justin Kennedy
Catapulting their quaint and heartwarming story into the audience’s hearts, husband and wife team Paul and Kathryn O’Keeffe perform with near-disbelieving feats of physical antics and slapstick comical brilliance. Metronome precision, incredible strength and concentration disguised by endearingly mimed facial expressions compliment their indelible chemistry.

The partying duo effortlessly concoct 101 ways to use a chair and ride a bicycle with gasp-inducing contortionist wonder. Kathryn easily carries the lithe and nimble music master’s weight like a feather. For a moment, Mozart disappears as one side of the record ends, returns in his underwear as the record is turned over, then amazes while dressing to hilarious cycling gymnastics. And to the tune of the Queen of the Night aria from The Magic Flute, a breathtaking pièce de résistance takes height and balance to seemingly impossible limits. Mozart’s flamboyance is eternally on show.

In the background, accordionist Gareth Chin is woven into every moment, like the birthday girl, to support and upstage the composer. But what never is in doubt is how his music has the ability to transform one’s state.

Take the kids, take someone else’s or unashamedly take yourself and giggle googly eyed along with them all for lashings of Mozart contagious joy!


Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus
Circa
Fairfax Theatre, Arts Centre Melbourne
Until 12th January

4.5 stars

Production Photo: Dylan Evans

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