Adelaide Fringe 2016

Betwixt, Adelaide Fringe Festival 2016

0 Comments 11 March 2016

Marina Gellmann is an Adelaide local, born and raised in the circus. She has presented at least one show per year to the Adelaide Fringe and this year she presents her first solo performance. Betwixt is unlike any of Marina’s previous shows – she attempts to weave a story, connecting each act to the next.

The first act is paced slowly but picks up when she starts her tricks. Marina tests her body’s limit with fox traps, mouse traps, a staple gun, and even inserting a drill into her nose, making the crowd wriggle and squirm (yet come back asking for more). Betwixt is less of a display of neat tricks and circus acts and more a piece of performance theatre, as she goes from dancing to popular songs to feeding a doll spaghetti. A word is barely said by the character on stage and on the surface will leave the audience wondering why the character does these things. A lot is left unsaid and the show must be read between the lines and behind the circus acts.

The usual circus acts are present, including bottle-walking and juggling an impressive six balls at once. The lighting of the stage is cleverly used, with spots of different colours for the different acts. It’s especially clever when she uses only a small head-mounted torch to juggle a meat cleaver in otherwise total darkness. Marina’s acts range from the beautiful and delicate to the impressive and dangerous. In one scene, she performs a song on guitar whilst standing barefoot on broken glass – symbolic of how difficult a gesture it is to express one’s love.

The music during scenes is chopped, constant and changing, with voiceovers hinting to the next act. These voiceovers could be interpreted as fragments of her distorted, crazy mind. The voice over about requiring safety goggles when operating a drill is hilarious. Synchronising with the music could have been more finely tuned but it is nothing show-breaking – overall, she is in time and moves with the beat cleanly.

While her award winning performance in 3 Steps Ahead is more entertaining and engaging with the audience, Betwixt is daring to be different. It’s because of Marina’s constant drive to try something new every year that her circus gets better and remains fresh. For local Adelaide talent, Betwixt is a must see.

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This post was written by who has written 7 posts on Buzzcuts.

Aden is a freelance digital artist who most notably reviews music for Empire Times as a way of filling the empty void that exists in his day to day life.

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