Recently I had the pleasure of documenting FALLOT (fä-ˈlō) a collaboration between my old mates, Brisbane based artists Marianna Joslin, Casey Douglas and Company 2 (Scotch & Soda, Sediment, Cantina). This is a Photo Essay of both behind-the-scenes and show pictures.
‘Circus Artist Marianna Joslin was born with Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare heart condition which went undiagnosed for six years. “Tetra” meaning four, four defects, four chambers. How does such an experience shape one’s life? Transformed, twisted, transplanted, cut open and sewn back together. This is an exploration of the heart, through circus’.
This show is based on the very personal story of Marianna’s journey after two open-heart surgeries and a heart valve transplant as a kid. The show explores the psychological effects of having surgery and the aftermath dealing with anxiety, insomnia, nightmares and ultimately her respect for life and death.
Big themes and ‘meaty’ subjects to explore through circus.
Over the years I have had the privilege of being allowed into many different companies and performers creative processes and to document them as they create their work, which I always find a fascinating experience. These guys had essentially nine days on the floor to create this show (after lots of writing from Maz and lots of discussions with director Chelsea (McGuffin, Company 2) for its first outing at the Wonderland Festival at The Brisbane Powerhouse ( It will now go onto Woodford Folk Festival and Adelaide Fringe ). From a physical point of view, they are all very accomplished circus artists but with that limited time to get the show together and being relatively new to working together as a group it was interesting to witness them working on high skills and routines which they could pull off and will eventually be in the show but having to make decisions to go for the ‘B’ or ‘C’ version of them for the first season so that they could run the show safely and competently at performance level. Also, them making a longer-term plan for the work –
‘We’ll do another creative development and training sessions before Woodford and another prior to Adelaide‘
I wanted to talk on this as I think these are really good tips for those crew creating work for the first time, think longterm, let go of your ego in relation to tricks – don’t push it if it’s going to compromise safety or your not going to be able to consistently pull it off in show conditions.
To develop a circus work with a strong story or theme to adhere to, such as this, is challenging –
“there is lots of letting go of good material because it doesn’t fit the story”
and there is the vulnerability and rawness that making personal work like this entails, which is a journey unto itself, putting your story out there into the world. So congrats Marianna & crew on creating such a great start to this shows life!
I also wanted to say, I am always impressed by the dedication and commitment of circus artists in this country, even when there is a little bit of funding involved – as there was in this case – there are always so many unpaid hours – to train, to create new work and to pursue a vision. Running a small company or being freelance artists is also full of admin, chasing gigs, quoting and negotiating, you got to be driven and love what you do…..
FALLOT (fä-ˈlō) credits:
Concept/Performer: Marianna Joslin
Performer/co-creator: Casey Douglas
Performer/co-creator: David Carberry
Performer/co-creator: Phoebe Armstrong
Director: Chelsea McGuffin
Costume Designer: Amanda Fairbanks
Lighting Designer: Dan Black
Music & Sound Design: David Carberry
The Multi-talented David Carberry also drove the set design with support from Casey, Maz’s dad & Baxter.
Puppet maker: Anna Straker
Producer: Company 2
Big Shout out to the awesome Cluster Arts and Arts QLD for their support.
Find out more about the awesome work of Company 2 – HERE
I hope you enjoyed that glimpse into FALLOT (fä-ˈlō) (video to come) and if you are at Woodford Folk Festival or Adelaide Fringe make sure you check it out.
Peace & Respect for all,
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