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May 27, 2024

Three views of Monumental 

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Three views of Monumental.

From the award-winning Melbourne-based company A Good Catch Circus, Spenser Inwood is the director of the latest offering from Spaghetti Circus: Monumental. Seven spoke to Spenser last week, along with co-musical director Melia Naughton and Jayson, a young member of the troupe, to find out a bit more about the show.

Spenser, what are some of the inspirations for  Monumental ?

Monumental has grown out of a place of wanting to celebrate the overlooked people in our society’s celebrations and recognitions – the unsung heroes, people who have said ‘I can do this’ even if they were told they couldn’t. Like Rosalind Franklin, who discovered the Double Helix (DNA structure), but her discovery was stolen by another scientist and he got all the glory. Until recently we didn’t have any information about her. Or even Vivian Bullwinkle who was the sole survivor of an attack during WW2 and is currently being honoured with a statue at the War Memorial in Canberra. Her likeness will be the first statue there to honour a woman and her contribution. 

We have been talking to the kids about their own monumental moments, big decisions in their lives, and how they got to those decisions. We have looked at the journey to the monumental moments, the hoops you must jump through and the roadblocks along the way. We have also explored the monumental fails that need to occur to learn and grow.

What can audiences expect?

The show is like one long parade. Marching band, new statue unveilings and speeches of recognition. The kids take over the Brunswick Picture House like you haven’t seen before.

They fill the space all the way from floor to ceiling, windows to walls – 15 young humans working together to help each other fly.

Melia Naughton devised an original score performed live with Sue Simpson.

Melia, what has been your process of composing for Monumental?

Improvising with fellow musician Sue Simpson. Sue is a phenomenal improviser and player and together we have shared musical ideas, spent a lot of time jamming and exploring motifs and thematic chord progressions that serve each part of the performance. The goal is to create a musical score performed live that supports the troupe and the monumental experience!

How many instruments will you be using live?

A menagerie of instruments! Lots of percussion, violin, guitar, piano, accordion, melodica and the human voice. There will possibly be a selection of xylophones, kazoos and even triangles.

What do you think is special about Spaghetti Circus and the performance troupe?

The energy is special. A troupe of young people challenging themselves physically is quite impressive. There is risk and danger and dynamism and joy.

What do you hope audiences will feel?

Uplifted and delighted. This show celebrates ideas and acknowledges women who have historically not been seen. I hope audiences feel moved by this original work made by many humans.

Jayson is 17 and loves being part of the troupe.

Jayson, what have you enjoyed about the process of making Monumental

I enjoyed challenging myself, learning new skills and being coached by our guest directors. 

How has circus helped you?

It’s helped me immensely with developing a confidence in myself and a trust in my body and its abilities. The resilience I’ve needed to act like a clown on stage and enjoy it, has been a much-appreciated skill in my day-to-day life as well.

Why should people come and see Monumental ? 

You should come to see Monumental to see all our acrobatic monuments.

Monumental by Spaghetti Circus runs from 16 to 27 August at the Brunswick Picture House.

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