Arts & Entertainment

REVIEW: Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus – Madness, Mayhem And Mozart at Theatre Royal

Mozart Circus

Wolfgang's Magical Circus. Photo: Clare Hawley.

BY RENEE LOU DALLOW

The Theatre Royal is a cultural icon and is now the venue for another cultural icon, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus is culture for kids as well as being energetic, fun and remarkably easy on the eye. They say music soothes the savage beast and so it is with the beauty of Mozart’s divine notes, both when played on accordion, and when written on paper.

We all know children can be the harshest of critics especially when viewing a show en masse. This was not the case here however. From the very start the kids and their parents were completely enthralled. A starry sky, a preparation table, a desk, a couple of chairs and a door at either side of the stage were all the props necessary as this show is all about combining physicality, dance, music and mayhem. One of the doors is actually a fridge through which Mozart appears on a bicycle. Realising he is in his underclothes he becomes a little anxious whilst riding around the stage, sideways, front ways and any ways he can. Fortunately, his assistant, a highly competent acrobat is able to jump on the bicycle with him, whilst he is still in motion, in order to dress him in his Mozart finery. Everything on stage becomes fodder for Mozart’s playful personality, including the paper his piano concerto is written on before it becomes butterflies, confetti and snow amongst other things.

One of the best magical tricks in the show is the moving spotlight which, whenever Mozart tries to bask in it moves just out of reach. The others don’t seem to have a problem at all with catching it. There are touches of Rowan Atkinson’s Mr Bean as poor Mozart mutters and splutters in frustration at the ever evasive spotlight.

So far we have mentioned Mozart’s antics but have not touched upon the supporting players, who, were equally as adept. Mozart’s assistant, a wonderful dancer, who, at one stage, even managed to dance on points whilst juggling, began the show waiting for the party to start. Turns out Mozart, is the party. With the help of his trusted accordianist the show moved from the very start at a frenetic pace with Mozart and his assistant performing amazing acrobatic feats and the accordianist occasionally joining in. It was especially funny when he kicked the spotlight across the stage to prevent Mozart from catching it. This resulted in a tussle between the two later in the show. A touch of spirited creative rivalry always present between them.

Paul and Kathryn O’keefe are a husband and wife team and their complete trust in one another was obvious. Kathryn, as Mozart’s assistant is often beneath him in more ways than one as he uses her body for a launching pad. Kathryn’s physical strength is truly inspiring, as is her ballet training, with all those perfect lines and poised posture. Her husband, Paul O’keefe, as Mozart demonstrated perfect comic timing worthy of the Charlie Chaplin school of slapstick. Gareth Chin played accordion with ease and was a suitable foil for the madness of Mozart’s party tricks.

Until Apr 24. Theatre Royal Sydney, 108 King St, Sydney. $29-$39+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.theatreroyalsydney.com

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