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Papillon: circus with a twist


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Circus is a staple act for the Fringe – so much so that many people think they’ve seen all there is to be seen in the world of tumbling, balancing acts and plate-twirling.  However, Adelaide Fringe newcomer Papillon (which means butterfly in French) is circus with a vaudevillian edge and surprises with its own spin on old favourites.

Papillon’s opening night at the Gluttony hub was a sell-out.  MC Idris Stanton warms up the crowd with his cheeky wit and excellent comic timing, and it is clear from the outset that this show is not going to be a slick, over-produced piece of theatre; instead it is a laid-back and entertaining feast for the senses.

It is brilliant to see the cast members inject their personalities into their work and turn a typical circus acts on its head. For example, a simple juggling routine may not impress regular Fringe-goers who have been spoiled by an abundance of talented acts, but the jugglers in Papillion turn their performance into a game of “strip juggling” that soon has the audience in hysterics.

Another mesmerising act is the adagio performed by the self-proclaimed “lady acrobats” Elena Kirschbaum and Amy Nightingale-Osen.  It is refreshing and impressive to see a female duo performing “strong-man” acro-balance poses and movements that are usually reserved for men.

The women (and quite a few men) showed their appreciation for Vincent van Berkel’s balancing routine. Dressed only in overalls, he shows off his strength before proceeding to remove strategic items of clothing, to the delight of many.

The show also has a cabaret element, with a cheeky yet sweet Minni Andrews singing a few songs in between acts.  She has a wonderful voice, but the interludes means the energy of the show does wane; the songs would benefit from some performances happening in the background.

Papillon is a cheeky and cheerful mix of carnival and circus which is well worth a night out.

Papillion is at The Peacock, Gluttony, until March 15.

Adelaide Fringe hub

Click here for all InDaily’s 2014 Adelaide Fringe stories and reviews.


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