Circus of surprises and harmful escapes

Ringmaster Idris Stanbury… beloved by Canberra audiences for his comedy.

ILLUSIONIST Michael Boyd’s “Circus of Phantasm” present, which astonished Canberra audiences final 12 months earlier than Omicron intervened, can be again on the Canberra Theatre in mid-January, and this time he feels optimistic that it received’t be interrupted.

“Circus of Phantasm” recreates all of the razzle-dazzle of the circus with out an precise large prime, since Boyd recreates a type of tent throughout the stage, festooned with the paraphernalia of the circus. 

“It’s such as you’re inside a tent below a lot of lightbulbs. It permits the house to look large and it brings again the sawdust and magic impact that I noticed after I was a toddler,” Boyd says.

Central to “Circus of Phantasm,” is its ringmaster Idris Stanbury, who will introduce some new materials, together with a terrifying reside chainsaw act by no means executed earlier than.

Stanbury is beloved by Canberra audiences as a result of he’s identified for introducing a robust component of comedy, and in addition as a result of he was born right here.

In his youth he spent extra time in Goulburn getting concerned with the Lieder Theatre, then later occurring to check circus on the Nationwide Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne, the place he lived for 19 years as knowledgeable performer.

He’s been again in Canberra for the previous 5 years and his day job is now head of efficiency at Warehouse Circus, for whom he directed “Elemental”, in early October, although as with this circus job, he can take day off for skilled engagements. 

Illusionist Michael Boyd… “I like to present the audiences numerous surprises.”

A lot of what we’ll see on stage can be acquainted, particularly the methods by Boyd himself, who, as an adolescent, honed his expertise in exhibits at fetes, birthday events and nursing properties, went on to mount large exhibits at casinos, cruise ships then turned a finalist in “Australia’s Acquired Expertise”.

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His intention, he says, is to mix magic and circus in equal measure to entertain audiences from a broad age vary, however this 12 months he’s obtained a few new acts. 

One such is Sascha Williams, a “Britain’s Acquired Expertise” semi-finalist who has what Boyd describes as “a jaw-dropping tower of terror act… each time I see him do it, my coronary heart’s in my mouth and I believe, oh, my god, he’s not going to make it, however he does.”

One other new component to the present is hula-hoop artist and aerialist, Sydney’s Sarah Bloom.

“I like to present the audiences numerous surprises, so I don’t wish to give away an excessive amount of,” Boyd says. “I like to listen to gasps from the viewers… Individuals disappear, showgirls levitate, and there are very harmful escapes within the present – a lot of motion.”

“Circus of Phantasm”, Canberra Theatre, January 14-15. 

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Ian Meikle, editor