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CIRCUSWA Putting the Fringe in Freo


While many of us might associate Fringe World with the CBD and Northbridge, there are a whole lot of amazing events going down in Fremantle this year too. At the centrepiece of the Harbour City’s program lies the Freo Big Top at Princess May Park, which showcases a diverse array of fun and entertaining shows from the risque to the family-friendly. MICHAEL HOLLICK caught up with performing artist Simon Wood to find out about Le Doublé Bill and The Fall, A Divorce and Peacocks (Thursday, January 21- Sunday, January 24); two shows that may be vastly different in their content but share the same community spirit, mental stimulation and chilled out vibes that fit right in at their setting.

So first tell us about Le Doublé Bill…is it as the name suggests? Basically, two shows combined into one for twice the fun?

Le Doublé Bill brings two short circus works together as one show. Both works feature impressive acrobatic and aerial feats for our audience’s enjoyment.

And who do you feel will enjoy Le Doublé Bill the most?

This show should be enjoyable for most people if they don’t mind the occasional swear word: young adults, teenagers, families with older kids.

Regarding Le Doublé Bill, what are you most proud about?

I’m proud that I am creating a show with another talented artist, as previously I’ve only ever made short acts and never performed anything longer than about eight minutes. I’m also proud that I could bring together such a great bunch of creatives to deliver something that, hopefully, will be enjoyed by lots of different people.

What do you think differentiates your show from the other Fringe 2021 shows?

The great thing about our show is that the audience gets to experience two very different pieces with a whole variety of skills, vibes and styles ranging from 80s fluro to circus friendships and storytelling.

Some people might not know a lot about Fringe happening in Fremantle. How is the vibe there different from the city and what kinds of shows are on there?

There’s a really particular artsy vibe that people associate with Fremantle. The city is home to so many amazing artists of all trades – musicians, circus performers, dancers, actors and the list goes on. The city really lives up to its artsy, alternative, reputation year-round, especially during Fringe. All year artists live, work and develop here resulting in really high-quality home-grown experiences and out-of-the-box ideas. There’s something for everyone at Freo Fringe.

CircusWA will also be putting on a show called The Fall, A Divorce and Peacocks​​. It sounds quite different than most other circus shows, what is it about and how does that tie in with its title?

The Fall, a Divorce and Peacocks hopes to take the audience on a journey of life and death, recovery and rediscovery, consequence, survival, heartache, and victory.

It’s an autobiographical presentation of Chloe Shadlow’s (the solo artist behind the work) journey of surviving a nine-metre fall whilst performing overseas, resulting in a broken spine, the seven-hour life-saving surgery and lengthy recovery process that followed. The show also explores the turmoil of heartache and the fun that can be had post-breakup.

What is the Carni-Bar I have heard about? Is that another reason to come down to these shows?

The Carni-bar at CircusWA is a quintessential Freo summer space that pops up for Fringe. Before heading into the Freo Big Top for their show, audiences can grab a drink, bask in the glow of the fairy lights, take pictures with the flowers and rustic style seats and tables and soak up the vibe of a bustling community. It’s the perfect place to soak up a balmy summer evening, slow down from the city’s frenetic energy and relax into the “Freo vibe.”

And finally, what fruit is your show most like? And why?

Probably a fruit salad, there are little tastings of a whole bunch of different fruits in there.