It's not often that you see a show promising a chicken dance or two but new circus ensemble 3 Is A Crowd has somehow incorporated it into their premiere work 'Fright or Flight'.
The production also includes acrobatics, hoop work, juggling and aerial choreography and has been described as chaotic, comical and outright absurd. The show has won Best Circus and Physical Theatre Award at this year’s Adelaide Fringe Festival and is about to be staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in late July. One of the members, Olivia Porter, explains how the idea came about in the first place. “The idea for the show first hatched when one of the members refused to hang out her washing fearing that all the birds in the neighbourhood were out to get her. Then the ideas just started rolling. We went out and bought as much bird-related paraphernalia as possible, then locked ourselves away with our apparatuses, toys, rubber gloves and butcher’s paper to produce this weirdly wonderful show.”
Describe the show in 5 words?
Amusing. Boisterous. Entertaining. Odd. Fun.
What is your role and how did your involvement come about?
I'm a third of 3 is a Crowd and we are all (pretty much) equally performers, producers, writers, directors, designers, casters, admin and birds.
What is your favourite pre-show snack?
Is this a general question or is this because people always think that circus performers have extreme dietary regimes? To rest people's minds if so, it's a myth, mostly. I was going to be predictable and make a bird-related snack reference, but to be honest, I'm often too nervous to eat.
How do you think the public perceive out-of-the-box productions like this one where there is no defined genre?
The genre is technically 'circus/ physical theatre', yet when people ask me to try describe the show I do have a lot of difficulty. We do essentially have a story(ish) or a journey for each of us should I say, but it's the type of show where you take what you want, there is no right or wrong. The day before we premiered this show, we were all going out of our minds with fear that people were just going to walk away thinking 'what the f@#k was that?'. And people did think that but they loved it! Although many weren't totally sure what to think, they still had a blast. We walked away with an award. We were beyond imagining that would happen when we opened at Adelaide Fringe. But I guess the more opened-minded you come to this show, the more fun you will have.
Describe your preparation for this role.
A room full of bird paraphernalia, with a bird-related soundtrack and a bunch of yellow rubber gloves. We all have put the hard yards of training to perfect our skills, this was about making a show that was fun, silly and doing what we love to do.
What do you want audiences to say as they leave?
The juggler was my favourite!
What's the last thing you think before you step on stage?
Have I got my newspaper?
Fav. line or moment in the production and why?
The opening scene, you never know what exactly might happen. We have all had moments of walking away from that scene with tears of pain but it's all worthwhile. It's been by far my most favourite way to start a show. All your senses are on edge, you get pumped full of adrenalin, you can't see anything and all you can hear is the sound of 'whooshing' and the audience laughing but you have no idea what at (this will obviously make more sense once you see the show).
Anything else readers should know?
There is no audience participation!
'Fright or Flight' is on at the Judith Wright Centre from July 6-13.