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June 16, 2024

Spaghetti Circus: from Mullumbimby to the world

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Spaghetti Circus in training for their performance at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Photo John McCormick.

Spaghetti Circus had humble beginnings; a disadvantaged schools grant for Main Arm Upper school and the vision of Leonie Mills. But the popular local circus has risen to great heights and is now taking a starring role in the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Its performers will be both amazing and delighting the world with one of their spectacular shows, called Jumping Point, that will be playing to a predicted audience of 5,000 people per show.

‘This is a really big deal; we were commissioned to do our own show and we have been working on it for over nine months,’ said Spaghetti Circus manager and creative producer Alice Cadwell.

The young performers in Jumping Point come from Spaghetti Circus in Mullumbimby, Circus Arts in Byron Bay and Circus Zoo in Brisbane, and showcase the wonderful talented youth from the broader region.

Captain Frodo, also known as ‘The Incredible Rubberman’, has taken on the challenge of directing the 23 young people aged 12 to 25 who are performing in Jumping Point and is looking forward to the first rehearsal on the main stage on the Gold Coast that will be taking place on Monday.

‘As a director this is my first project with non-professionals. To be with 23 young people whose passion is for circus, something I have dedicated my life to, is life affirming to say the least. It has been a new experience for me to deal with the chaos of organising, motivating and directing them all. I think my job has been like trying to herd cats,’ laughed Frodo.

The Spaghetti Circus cast who will be performing at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast. Photo John McCormick.

Working with such a large cast it has been a feat of ingenuity and skill to bring the show to life, ensuring that it has all those important moments of excitement and drama while drawing the audience in.

‘One of the challenges for me has been a big cast. You need to develop some pretty big images and some big feats of acrobatics to utilise every single one. The flip side to that has been to juxtapose the big group acts with smaller intimate moments with only two young performers on the big ten metre circular roundabout stage.’

Having started his career onstage alongside his magician father in Norway, Captain Frodo has drawn on this experience with magic playing a key part in how the show has developed.

‘We have been exploring the ideas of the levels of reality as deception, and what better medium than circus to work with these themes?’ he said.

‘There will literally be thousands of people watching and I was forced to come up with different approaches of getting smaller sized more intimate moments to work on such a large scale.’

The show will contain the biggest human pyramid seen in the history of Australian youth circus, aerial skills on silks, rope, and trapeze to name a few of the thrills on offer and all with a delightful touch of magic.

Like any good magician Captain Frodo was not about to divulge exactly what the audience can expect, ‘but I am sure our young superstars will make the audience come with them and fall in love with our roller coaster ride,’ he said with a grin.

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