Flying Fruit Fly Circus : Circus Under My Bed

By Caitlin Crowley

You MUST take your kids to see this show. If you don’t have any kids – go anyway.

I’m stating that up front to ensure that anyone who even glances at this review gets the message loud and clear.

It’s hard to believe that the Flying Fruit Fly Circus performers are just teenagers. Surely they’re too young to be this talented? Maybe it’s like Grease or Beverly Hills 90210 and they’re really a bunch of thirty-somethings acting as teenagers.

Circus Under My Bed is an action-packed 55 minute show that had the audience gasping, laughing and cheering throughout. There’s a sweet narrative – Celeste is moving house but she’s sad about it and keeps putting off the task of packing her bag. Coming to Celeste’s assistance is the Ringmaster of her Imagination and with him all the colour, joy and spectacle of the circus.

Everything in Celeste’s room is brought to life: stuffed animals are tumbling sheep, books are acrobatic characters called Page and Libro and leftover party hats create a chaotic celebration with a clumsy chef. There’s everything we expect from a circus, amazing trapeze artists, hands-over-the-eyes balancing acts, raucous plate spinning, the sweet, sad clown and a decent cream pie to the face.

Even the back story to The Flying Fruit Fly Circus is inspirational, it was established in 1979 in Albury-Wodonga as a way of bringing the arts to young people in regional Australia. Thirty-five years later we’re watching a group of strong, talented young people support each other as they take enormous risks in front of a sold-out audience in one of our finest theatres. There’s an even bigger message in that.

In case you missed it the first time: You MUST take your kids to see this show. If you don’t have any kids – go anyway.

That’s my review – here’ are some thoughts from the intended audience.

Iris (10): I think it was interactive; like they came out to the crowd and showed us things which was good. My favourite was the trapeze and the aerials. It had a story behind it about this girl who was moving house and she didn’t want to move and she imagined up a circus and it helped her pack her bags and find her book and stuff. It was as good as an adult circus; better even. I would never be able to do that. The only people who wouldn’t like it are people who have a bad taste in stuff.

Jasper (10): It started off with a girl Celeste who had to pack her bag because she was moving house then this ringmaster came up in her imagination and he put on this show of all these wonderful acts and different people and it was super amazing and awesome and stuff and then she went to sleep and when she woke up they had to finish packing her bag and her mum was coming in and then she walked out again and then she had to go but she took her imagination with her. I liked the trapeze and I liked the bit when the chairs were balanced on top of each other and they did handstands on the top. There was a girl who had a ladder standing straight up and climbed up it without anyone holding her up which was pretty amazing. Parts of it were funny. Other parts were super amazing acts I’ve never seen before and believe me I’ve seen circuses. I’ve seen circuses with grown-ups but they didn’t do as good stuff as the Flying Fruit Fly. I think practically anyone would like it.

Circus Under My Bed is on at Arts Centre Melbourne, Fairfax Studio until April 19