Review: No Such Thing as Normal, Off the Wall Youth Circus Troupe at the Melbourne Fringe Festival

News Flash: Off The Wall Troupe will be performing No Such Thing As Normal at the Adelaide Fringe Festival from the 25th Feb to 4th March 2012. Get your info and tickets now! And meet the cast at Festival Fishbowl.

I just got home from the Melbourne Fringe Festival with my brother and had to write about the show I saw IMMEDIATELY.

Those of you who know me will know that I’ve been involved with Westside Circus through my work for a while now. Those who don’t should check out the work that Westside does straight away and everyone should grab tickets to go see the newly formed Off the Wall youth troupe’s Fringe Festival performance: No Such Thing as Normal.

From what I understand, Off the Wall is a new troupe, consisting of former Behind the Wall performers. I also understand that the troupe is entirely organised, directed, produced, planned and everything else by the young people involved. Very impressive, not least because the show was absolutely awesome.

No Such Thing as Normal is a reflective look at high school life through the eyes of young people and circus. Topics covered are bullying, feelings of abnormalcy and otherness, first love (of both the hetero and the homo kind, BIG shout out to the performers for including a very sweet blossoming romance between two girls), boredom in French class (yes, I can definitely relate), detention and fighting within friendships, as well as much else besides.

My absolute favourite act, was an acro-balance routine between the hetero-love-interest couple, of their first time sexy fumblings. Made particularly amusing by the fact that I do a little acro-balance in my spare time and know how intimate it can be on occasion (both intentionally and unintentionally). I also work with young women, sometimes using circus as a means to communicate complex messages about safety, relationships, influence and collaboration, however I’ve never seen such an opportunity to watch a performance as a way to educate and engage. The performers demonstrated an incredible talent for humour, slap-stick, physical theatre and the faces, comic timing and pure skills were not just breath-taking but gut wobblingly funny. I want a video of the show to use in my programs!

I had arrived expecting to see an excellent display of circus skill, what I left with was an appreciation for just how talented these young people are. Not only are they fabulous performers but their insight into the world of high school and the minds of themselves and their peers is outstanding. I’ve seen a lot of amateur theatre trying to portray the high school experience and nothing has come anywhere close to the brilliance of this performance.

Oh and it was totes feminaust coz all but one of the performers were women!

I can’t recommend Off the Wall and their debut performance, No Such Thing as Normal, highly enough. Only three shows left. Get there before you miss out!

3 thoughts on “Review: No Such Thing as Normal, Off the Wall Youth Circus Troupe at the Melbourne Fringe Festival

  1. Thank you so much for this awesome review! I’m so glad you enjoyed the show 😀
    (by the way, I’m Amanda, the red-head in the show)

  2. Loved the show. The messages,the music and these young people exploring life and themselves created an entertaining viewing experience with a real genuineness about it.

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