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Published August 19, 2019

There’s a certain irony in attending a show focused on living in the moment, only to have to conjure up those memories afterwards and construct them into a review. One Fell Swoop Circus’s latest work, Sensory Decadence, is built on Daniel Kahneman’s work on the two selves – the Experiencing Self, who experiences events fully in the moment, and the Remembering Self, who constructs the story around events after they’ve happened. The show’s focus is on living in the moment and creating “powerful intimate encounters” with the audience, something that only a live show can achieve, and that circus should excel in. 

The show starts out strong, with the full cast gathering around a well-laid dinner setting only to have it crash dramatically to the floor and reveal the central piece of apparatus for the show. What follows is an hour of experimental circus that skirts the idea of sensory decadence, but never fully digs its claws in. The physicality and abilities of the performers is phenomenal, with Latonya Wigginton and Charice Rust in particular being a joy to watch, but the true moments of decadence are few and far between. 

This doesn’t stop Sensory Decadence from being a solid demonstration of the skills and abilities of a troupe of circus performers at their peak, with each showing off their individual talents with confidence and flair. Where the show really comes into its own, however, is with the duets. These performers have been working together for a long time, over many productions, and it shows. The way that they come together and bounce off each other (sometimes literally) brings an energy and creativity that adds several layers to the performance. The impact on the audience was tangible, with audible gasps and actual “wow”s being elicited throughout, and a blatant disregard of the offer to hold our applause and live in the moment.  

If you’re keen to check out a new and creative circus show based around a truly innovative concept, get down to Gasworks before the 23rd of August, and make sure you sit front row!

Sensory Decadence is showing at Gasworks Arts Park until Friday 23rd August. Tickets start at $30. Contact venue for accessibility information.

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