The Circus Firemen

The Circus Firemen Adelaide Fringe 2020★★★1/2

Adelaide Fringe. Ukiyo, Gluttony. 1 Mar 2020


Two guys, the brothers Angus and Matilda, comprise the Circus Firemen, whose show is aimed squarely at the children and family market… this Sunday morning session was a willingly raucous full house. We’d been promising the kids we’d see this show for a couple of Fringes now, and they didn’t disappoint.


Four and six year olds hoot with laughter at some of the more obvious slapstick (‘my ladder is the wrong way around’) but there were long spaces which cried out for more. Even in a short one hour show, young kids in particular quickly lose interest, and the longwinded recruitment of audience member Reuben was merely filler, I’m afraid. Too much talk, too many thoughts iterated then reiterated, then restated: “I hope you survive the trick, Reuben.” One would have expected these guys to be able to read an audience better by now.


But the firemen turn in some great tricks, the ubiquitous juggling – up to seven clubs (skittles) in the air at one time, some exceptional balance and ladder tricks, and some tricks aimed directly at the adults in the venue. The kids who helped in the reviewing process agreed (unsurprisingly!) that the juggling with chainsaw and two sharp knives was the highlight of the show.


And it was. My only real complaint – as expressed above – was that there were too many slow spots in such a short performance.


Alex Wheaton


When: 1 to 15 March

Where: Ukiyo, Gluttony, Rymill Park