WOLFGANG – a circus adventure by Circa tumbles into the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Name: Kathryn and Paul O’Keeffe
Name of Edinburgh show: Wolfgang by Circa
Venue: Underbelly Circus Hub
Performance time: 2pm
Show length: 60 minutes
Ticket price: Tickets from £12.80

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and your performing background?
Paul- has been performing professionally for 21 years. He has worked mainly in Circus but has also occasionally ventured into Dance, Puppetry and Musical Theatre.

He grew up learning circus at a local youth circus in Canberra, Australia. This fun after school activity quickly became the driving force for a career in the performing arts. He has performed all across the world. Naturally a slapstick, knockabout type of acrobat he also loves standing on people and also being stood on.

Kat- spent her childhood upside down and throwing herself around at gymnastics until she found dance classes and then spent all her time dancing around the place as well. After studying a bachelor of dance in Melbourne, Australia, Kat got into circus as she could combine both her loves for movement and being upside down. Kat has performed in circus and dance around the world and has worked with Circa since 2011 where she has been part of many creations and shows, including Beyond which was performed at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2014.

Tell me about your show, what it is all about?
Wolfgang’s a circus adventure, where two acrobats tumble and climb upon each other as they discover this weird and crazy world. Musical scores and conductors batons fly through the air, a bike has a near miss with a music stand, chairs are stacked up high and climbed on and an ever increasing mess is made. All accompanied to the wonderful music of Mozart and Quincy Grant and performed by a golden velvet onesie wearing cherub playing an accordion. It’s fun and energetic mayhem.

How long have you been working on this show and what is it that makes it relevant to audiences in 2018?
This show is brand new. In July we officially opened Wolfgang in Queensland, Australia.

Circa is a circus company so the show is full of circus, but we also really wanted to introduce children to classical music.

We asked ourselves when making Wolfgang, how could we get a room full of kids to enjoy and listen to classical music for 50 minutes and walk out saying that was the best show they’ve ever seen. We want them to be engaged by the circus and the music.

Do you have any top tips for surviving the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – both for performers and visitors to the event?
See as much as you can. Go to shows that you wouldn’t normally see. Allow plenty of time to go anywhere as it is incredibly busy everywhere.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
Paul- I used to perform an act called double trapeze. In this act I’m somersaulting in the air, I’m then caught by my double trapeze partner who is also hanging from the trapeze. Occasionally the catch might press on parts of the body where an uncontrollable eruption of a fart may occur. The thing with most aerials is that I’m more often than not in a very compromised angle to my trapeze partner. Mildly embarrassing to say the least.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the industry and why?
Our biggest inspirations are artists and companies that take risks in making shows, ones that challenge audiences to think more. To question more and to feel something long after the show has finished. When we perform our shows, we like to perform works that move the heart, mind and soul of our audiences.

Paul- Simon Yates and Jo Lancaster from an Australian circus company called Acrobat has always inspired me. The biggest thing for me watching them perform when I was a teenager was that their works were rich in stage presence, acrobatic skills, originality and honesty. They didn’t follow other company’s styles, they made their style their own.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Double and triple check that we are wearing the right costumes and that all props are set ready to go.

Kat- I get stress dreams about randomly leaving socks on the stage so my preshow ritual is looking around to make sure I haven’t left anything on stage that’s not meant to be there.

Paul- I just really need to make sure I’m wearing the right costume. Apart from that I’m ready to go.

What other acts are you looking forward to seeing at Edinburgh Fringe?
We haven’t had a good look at the program yet but we have plenty of friends also doing fantastic shows. The shows that we already have plans to see are Sediment by Company 2, Yummy by Yummy Productions, Between the cracks by Yana Alana, Casting Off by A good catch and our own musician in Wolfgang.

Gareth Chin is also playing in The Executionist by Anya Anastasia. Our list will of course get bigger and bigger throughout the festival as there is always so many wonderful shows to see both on stage and on the streets of Edinburgh.

Why do you think people should come and see your show over the thousands of others on at the fringe?
Circus, Mozart music and mayhem, all mixed in with moments that will make you hold your breath.


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