Sharon Gruenert talks about CASTING OFF – intergenerational circus with lots to say at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Sharon Gruenert
Name of Edinburgh show: Casting Off
Venue: Assembly George Square Gardens – Spiegeltent Palais Du Variete
Performance time: 5.15pm
Show length: 60 minutes
Ticket price: £10-£14

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
I am a 41 year old Australian acrobat and mother of two girls 8 and 11, who refuses to leave the stage and stop doing flips. I love to tumble, ride my bike everywhere, hike, balance on people and fly. I have worked in the circus for over 20 years with heaps of big and small companies and now I have my own show with two other amazing women that I am really proud of.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Casting Off is Intergenerational circus with lots to say. Three generations of Australian circus women perform daring acrobatics while chatting, pontificating and rarely harmonising. Self-directed, hand-knitted, and honouring the life events that get in the way of work, Casting Off celebrates thoughtful, strong, and resilient individuals. A joyous accumulation of moments; Flipping, climbing and flying to a haunting soundscape of the many disparate texts (lists, poems, conversations, melodies, arguments and biographies) that embody each day. We allow the personal to be political and the fury to be fun.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
This is a new show we have been working on for a year. We first performed it in the Sidesault experimental circus festival. Our experiment: to talk throughout the show! With all the conversations about the imbalance of women on stage & film we feel our show is super relevant. Three generations of women who all identify as feminist celebrate the power of women speaking for themselves. We honour the complexity of being women, the mental load we carry and the unhelpful attitudes we often disguise as coping. We give voice to our feminist politics, we celebrate how much we can do and we embrace emotional content.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
Its my first one, I’m just going to try and enjoy all the moments. For visitors, don’t miss our show.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Laughing is my fear response, so that can be a bit disconcerting for some people.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Acrobat, an Australian circus company who have constantly pushed the boundaries and reinvented themselves. Circus Oz because they forged a highway for circus artists in Australia.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Rosin, hops on each foot, take hands with your fellow acrobats and look into their eyes.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
Yana Alana, Splash Test Dummies… still looking through the program but The Midnight Soup, Another One, Egg & The Sauna all caught my eye.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
So they can laugh and cry, hopefully at the same time.


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