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Upside down with Circus Oz

11:00 AEST Thu Jul 8 2010
Entertainment. It's such a personal thing. What pleases and amuses one person could possibly be quite boring for the next person. Acceptance or rejection can be between just two people or an entire country, culture or religion.

Dermott Brereton reckons he has come across something that has no exclusions: the circus. Not performing animals who have no say in it, but people who adore what they are doing.

Circus Oz has been entrancing Australians and the rest of the world since 1978, and Dermott visited their headquarters in Port Melbourne. They were in the full throes of rehearsal for their new show which is just about to finish in Melbourne. They will pack up, travel around Australia and then head off to the US.

To date they have toured 26 countries on five continents and raised more than $200,000 for refugees and asylum seekers.

Mike Finch is one of those responsible for pulling it all together. As artistic director he strives to include something for everyone, including colour, movement, political satire and even flashbacks to previous circuses.

Circus Oz is not like Cirque du Soleil. It's pretty much about humour, breathtaking feats, social satire and Aussie humour, which excites audiences of all ages. Prices are more family friendly as well.

There are larger ladies and dwarfs in burlesque-style outfits and lots of crazy-looking people doing crazy acrobatic circus stunts. Live, original music is played throughout the shows.

If you've ever fantasised about being in a circus, here's your big chance. Whether you're aged between seven or 107, you can join one of their public classes that have been running for 21 years.

You can learn skills in tightrope, trapeze, juggling, hula hooping, aerial skills, tumbling, acrobalance, contortion, flexibility and pole. Through it all you can get fit, build physical confidence and enjoy learning new skills. Adult classes are for beginners, intermediates and advanced.

Ibis Melbourne is great value city accommodation. It's a few minutes away from the Queen Victoria Markets, Lygon Street restaurant quarter and Melbourne's central shopping district. It offers 250 rooms and apartments, restaurant and bar.


Circus Oz headquarters in Port Melbourne.


Circus Oz Melbourne season prices are $48 to $72 for adults, $27 to $46 for children, $123 to $190 for families and $36 to $39 for groups of more than 10 adults.

Ninety-minute Flying Trapeze beginner classes are $60 for two classes as part of the winter holiday program or $270 for nine weeks of classes in term three. There are four different children and teen classes on Saturdays starting at $225.

Ibis Melbourne has rooms from $119 a night.

Virgin Blue has flights to Melbourne one-way from:

  • Hobart $75
  • Adelaide $79
  • Sydney $89
  • Canberra $95
  • Brisbane $129
  • Darwin $179
  • Perth $235

There are limited seats which may not be available at peak times or on all flights. Fares quoted are one-way booked on the Internet. An extra $15 will be charged for phone bookings. A credit card surcharge of an additional $2 per person per one-way flight is applicable. Fares are correct at July 8, 2010, and are subject to change.

Prices correct at July 8, 2010.

For further information

Virgin Blue
Ph: 136 789

Circus Oz

Ph: 136 100

Public Circus Classes
40 Bay Street
Port Melbourne 3207
Ph: (03) 9676 0325

Ibis Melbourne
15-21 Therry Street
Melbourne 3000
Ph: (03) 9666 0000
Fax: (03) 9666 0052

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