Life’s A Circus: Theatre Works
It’s not very often that a new Australian musical is written these days, especially in the times of the US Invasion (Wicked, Jersey Boys, Avenue Q), let alone a good one. This is definitely not the case with Anthony Costanzo (music and lyrics) and Peter Fitzpatrick’s (book) Life’s A Circus.
I was fortunate enough to witness the first preview of this new work, which has been in development for quite some time, this being the first fully staged production and I can honestly say that this is hopefully going to be a hugely successful show.
From its A-List musical theatre cast (Chelsea Plumley, Glenn Hogstrom and Cameron McDonald) to the elements and mystery of circus, all is performed flawlessly. Not much pointed out the fact that this was a preview, other than director, Kris Stewart’s brief speech before the show.
The story is a simple love triangle – boy and girl meet a boy, other boy not sure whether he wants boy or girl and boy and girl fall out of their friendship over said other boy.
With such a small cast, each have their individual moments to lift the roof off, however when the three sing together, their harmonies are pure electricity. Although the tunes aren’t exactly memorable on first listen, the music is absolutely gorgeous. Thoroughly emotional and thrilling all at once. Adding to the atmosphere are the circus performances, by a silent troupe, Annabel Carberry, Vaughan Curtis, Shannon McGurgan and Stephen Williams.
The greyscale set was simple, yet effective, evoking many locales all at the same time, including airport terminals, circus arenas, hotels, bars etc. The neutral colour of the background enabled the performances to be even more vibrant and add more colour to the space than any amount of lighting could do!
It should be noted that Anthony Costanzo was short-listed for this piece for the Pratt Prize for musicals, so the only way is up!
I certainly cannot wait to go back and see the show again next week, as I am sure this piece will only improve over the season and knowing the challenges of writing and producing independent Australian theatre, my hat goes off to the team!
LIFE’S A CIRCUS
Composer/ Lyricist Anthony Costanzo | Writer Peter Fitzpatrick
Director Kris Stewart
Venue: Theatre Works, 14 Acland Street, St Kilda
Previews: Fri 31st July & Sat 1st August 8pm, Sun 2nd August 4pm
Dates: Monday 3 August to Sat 15 August
Times: Mon 3rd & 10 Aug @ 8pm / Wed to Sat 8th @ 8pm
Tickets: Adults $30 / Concession $26 / Groups (min 8) $27
Bookings: www.magtix.com / 03 9352 0232