Saturday, November 11, 2017


Adult Cirque-Cabaret
Spiegeltent Big Top
Majura Park to December 17

Reviewed by Len Power 10 November 2017

It seems even circuses must change with the times.  Animal acts have gone, Cirque Du Soleil became an international sensation and now here in Australia we have the touring show, ‘Infamous’, which is self-described as an adult ‘cirque-cabaret’.

It’s still a circus with traditional acts like trapeze, high wire and aerial work and clowning but its atmosphere and style are definitely more in tune with today.  Set in a beautifully designed Spiegel Tent Big Top, there’s lots of hazy lighting, heavily amplified rock music, a pop singer, slinky female dancers in minimal costumes and drinks served at the bar or brought to your seats by pretty waitresses.  It’s an adult show playing an extended season in Canberra only at night.  You can’t bring the children.

The big set pieces are the wheel of death act which opens the show and the high flying trapeze which closes it.  The design and size of the tent means that everyone is close to the action, making it even more thrilling to watch.  The show moves at a good pace with well-thought out entertaining distractions by cast members moving amongst the audience when set changes onstage are taking place.

There are only a small number of actual circus performers, most of whom are multi-skilled.  Joseph Ashton, of the Ashton circus family leads the company and at least two of his grown children continue the family tradition by performing in the show.

Everyone will have their favourite act.  Particularly impressive and clever was the rag doll contortionist, the extraordinary juggler, the two man balancing act, the clown with the big red balloon, the heart-stopping wheel of death and the exciting trapeze finale.  There were about 13 acts altogether and they were all entertaining.

The show isn’t all that infamous, despite its title, and the adult content won’t bother anyone.  It’s a good, slightly more sophisticated evening of circus fun which will appeal to the child in all of us.

‘Infamous’ runs 2 hours including a lengthy interval.  Drinks are available from the bar before and during the show and the venue at Majura Park has plenty of parking just across the road near Cosco.

Photos from the media preview by Len Power
Len Power’s reviews are also broadcast on Artsound FM 92.7’s new ‘On Stage’ program on Mondays from 3.30pm and on ‘Artcetera’ from 9.00am on Saturdays.