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Circus Oz - MICF 2023 (VIC)

Presented at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2023. Directed by Nicci Wilks.

Reviewed by Annika Loci

Forum Melbourne (downstairs)

7th to 23rd April, 2023

- A triumphant return for the Circus Oz crew that will delight all ages -

After a few years in turmoil and uncertainty, it was wonderful news to see that after 30 years, Circus Oz was returning to the Melbourne International Comedy Festival with an all-new show. Promoting “A fun filled extravaganza performed by a multi-generational ensemble for a multi-generational audience that you don’t want to miss”, it caught my eye having seen it as a little girl when it was on tour around Australia and was excited to share this unique and well-known Australian circus with my son.

We were not disappointed, experiencing some of the best in physical comedy, acrobatics, trapeze, ariel and juggling work, and a diverse line-up of acts from more traditional well-loved pieces such as multiple trapeze work to a comedic clown style duo performing bow & arrow tricks.

Like most MICF shows, Circus Oz’s performance is around an hour long, however with this time allocation, director Nicci Wilks and the Circus Oz team pack in a very impressive amount of technique and skill with bucket loads of comedy and entertainment. The Forum audience was excited by each expertly performed trick and flip, together with plenty of laughter at Circus Oz’s creative combination of traditional and original style of clowning and slapstick routines. And with the live music providing a more intimate and authentic experience, the balance between comedy and circus performance was perfect in keeping audiences young, old and anywhere in between engaged and showing their appreciation with plenty of applause, cheering, laughter, and many breathless gasps and whispers of awe.

Often known for being ground-breaking and unique, this latest show from Circus Oz is no exception. The team ranging over six generations of seven performers and two musicians (plus creatives & stagehands) have brought together a show that is not just impressive but inspiring to watch. This physically demanding show integrates and celebrates the human form (regardless of age, sex or physical shape) and alongside this is colourful costuming adding to the illusion of difficulty, or an extra punch to comedic sections and some quite beautiful dimensions to ariel stunts.

Every company member is utilized to their full potential whether that be the main feature, a supporting performer or just helping with rigging or moving safety equipment… pushing the John Maxwell phrase “teamwork makes the dream work” into a new league.

Wilks and the Circus Oz team clearly have worked hard together to create an act honoring their history and amazing talent for their return to the MICF stage which a few years ago they could only dream of.


CAST: Debra Batton, Sharon Grunert, Spencer Inwood, Jarred Dewey, Olivia Porter, Flip Kammera, Leo Pentaland , Carl Polke Chris Lewis

Adult: $47.00

Group (4+): $39.00

Concession: $35.00

Child under 13: $27.00

Family (1 adult + 2 children): $90

Wed 19 Apr: 2.30pm,6pm;

Thu 20 Apr: 2.30pm;

Fri 21 Apr & Sat 22 Apr: 2.30pm,6pm;

Sun 23 Apr: 2.30pm

Forum Melbourne - Downstairs, 154 Flinders St, Melbourne

AUSLAN: Sat 22 Apr: 2.30pm



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