Circus review: NICA presents Last Orders!

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By Maddison McSwain

Last Orders! directed by James Brown and Helene Embling featured the 16 graduating students from the National Institute of Circus Arts.

The 2015 circus showcase took audiences back to the 1930’s with the cast inhabiting the role of waiters in a Parisian café.

Amidst stunning group performances, each student performed their own unique act, designed especially to showcase their talent and skills grown throughout their Bachelor of Circus Arts.

The performance was enthralling from the moment the lights went down and a voice announced “Kitchen is closing – last orders!”

Amongst an awe-inspiring program there were particular highlights.

Corie Hurry captivated audiences with his specialty, chair handstands, in a heart racing performance. Attempting to tune a television, Corie had onlookers on the edge of their seats as he defied gravity, balancing upon a stack of chairs that looked as if they could fall apart at any moment.

Aside from his precision, Corie’s theatricality was a standout. His character’s endearing innocence and comedic timing were remarkable to watch, with his opening routine remaining memorable long after the show was over.

Simone Salle’ was ‘laugh out loud’ funny in her clowning routine and played to the audience brilliantly. Her character remained engaging and her joy was contagious. If you didn’t invest in some of NICA’s delicious popcorn you needn’t have worried,Simone fixed that problem! A true larrikin.

Adam O’Connor-McMahon shone in his juggling act, creating a suspenseful yet comedic performance with an earnest beauty that cannot be articulated in words. His stage presence was incredible, sustaining facial expressions an actor would envy.

Maggie Fayne and Marty Evans performed as a duo with adagio. A breathtaking performance so exquisite it was impossible to take your eyes off the pair. Their discipline and strength were astounding. At one point Maggie executed a perfect handstand – on top of Marty’s head. The trust in one another was commendable and a credit to the pair as performers.

Most impressive about the 16 circus artists was how effortless they made each routine appear. Audiences could be forgiven for thinking they too could walk the tightwire or master the aerial hoop.

The cast seemed so at ease onstage, confident with their abilities. The group sequences highlighted how well they work together as a team in a cohesive, professional performance.

The audience was buzzing throughout with laughter, applause, gasps and most powerfully, silence. Last Orders! was a true spectacle.

The talent onstage at NICA’s state-of-the-art National Circus Centre in Prahran was truly phenomenal and it will be exciting to see these future stars of the circus world step onto the global stage that awaits them.

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