Weber Brothers Circus – La Jester

May 6, 2008 at 1:21 am | Posted in Show Review | Leave a comment
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I went to the Weber Brothers Circus 2008 (touring) show.

May 3, 2008 by


Circus Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
Wellington
New Zealand

This time, unlike two years ago, there were no workshops for children – no flying trapeze and no tightrope walkers. This time I actually noticed the midway, as I went into the big-top tent: a teacup ride, a stall with rotating clown figure, popcorn-&-hotdog stand and people selling light toys.

The show has a theme: the Black Knight has stolen the laugther from the Kingdom and the Jester is charged by the king to get it back! As the Jester journeys through his quest, we are introduced to the various acts. Only there is a problem: the main act obviously comes from Asian and they never quite get with the theme! Still, while the theme does not go exactly as well as it could, the individal acts weren’t too bad.

I wonder if the Asian troup, when they were training to be circus perfomers, ever thought they would end up on the farside of the world.

I enjoyed boo-ing, along with everyone else, the Black Knight whenever he rode into the arena. The Asians were impressive- tissu, tumbling, double poi, chair balancing, and juggle using the feet. Good to see some traditional juggling – clubs and rings; I was surprised by how entertaining 3 clubs (then 4 then 5) could be – having got use to Cirque-du-Soleil style juggling.

The slapstick sketch harking back to a much early era of Circus acts – four prisoners in stripped garb, a keystone cop character and a character who was a wife of one of the prisoners – made me think twice. It was based around a traditional vaulting box, and everyone vaulting in clever ways, while the chase took place. When family violence is recognised a major issue for society, maybe the violence in the sketch could have been focussed in different ways, but definitely away from the ‘wife’.

The finale was three motocycles riding inside a metal sphere ! The sphere looked like it was three motocycle lengths in diameter. The motocycles did go inverted! I thought the women balancing a a stack of chairs was ‘brave’, but the young women who got into the sphere while two motocycles orbiting took ‘brave’ to another level – The riders had leathers and body armour; she had a bikini !

The show was definitely worth the price of admission.

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The Weber Brothers Circus website is good enough to offer two experiences – those with dial-up and those with broadband. The broadband version is very garish!!

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Nim’s Island

May 5, 2008 at 2:59 am | Posted in Film Review | Leave a comment
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April 21, 2008 by


Film Hanger

Paper Hanger Blog
Wellington
New Zealand

Breslin plays Nim Ruscoe – a girl who lives on an island in the South Pacific with her marine biologist father, Jack; the the film takes its title from her. The father is played by Gerard Butler. The location of the island is secret, and dad and daughter secluded themselves there ever since Nim’s mother was lost at sea – when Nim was four years old.

Butler also plays author Alexandra Rover’s fictional action alter-ego Alex Rover: an Indian Jones type of adventurer. Alexandra, played by Jodie Foster, is in ‘real life’ agrophobic and automysophobic and kinetophobic and lots of other obics! Nim loves the Alex Rover books – some kind of Electra complex no doubt! – and Alex lets Alexandra roam the world (‘in the company of her ideal man’), without every going outside her apartment. which she has not set foot out of in 16 years!!

Against this improbable background Jack sails off – in search of plankton – leaving Nim alone on her island to look after the hatchlings from her ‘pet’ turtle. Alexandra/Alex makes contact with Nim, thinking it is Jake, regarding the volcano on the island. Inevitably, storms and other crises arise to challenge Nim. The growing connection that Alexandra feels for Nim forces her to leave her apartment and travel to the south seas to save Nim.

Alexandra’s journey is just great! It gently pokes fun at all sorts of things, including travel and phobias. Eventually: Alexandra arrives, doesn’t exactly saving Nim, but having grown as a person; the crises are seen off; and goodness, Alexandra even starts to forms bonds with Jack.

All a little far fetched, but entertaining enough for the price of admission. If anything, this film is an example of the power of the Internet – Nim and Alexandra email each other throughout the movie!

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