Midsumma is rapidly approaching and with it comes some fabulous, diverse, thought provoking and creative acts that are sure to please. One of these is international award-winning company, Casus Circus, who bring their much anticipated and exclusive season, You & I, to the 2020 Festival.
A culturally diverse and inclusive collective, Casus Circus are interested in bringing human stories to the stage, and have successfully done this with past shows including: Driftwood, Knee Deep and Chasing Smoke. A tantalizing and unique blend of acrobatics and human emotion bring deep and potent stories to life. You & I is no different, telling the story of the love between two men and revealing a fresh narrative where gay stories are not consumed by tragedy, but filled with conviction and acceptance.
Performed and directed by two of the three co- founders of Casus Circus, Jesse Scott and Lachlan McAulay, (the third is Samoan artist, Natano Faanana) both men had a big desire to tell a story of two men in love, without it being shaped by trauma or heartache. “We’re very lucky to have grown up in supportive families and communities where being ourselves was celebrated,” says Scott. “This was a big inspiration for us.”
McAulay adds that they want audiences to leave with a sense of hope. “We want them to forget this show is about two men and just watch two humans in love, because in this day and age it shouldn’t matter”, he says. “Our story can be anyone’s story if you find the right person to have by your side.
Casus Circus has just turned eight years old with the co-founders starting the company from a desire to tell their own stories as well as create a place for creative diversity in the industry. “We’re are all very creative people with our own strengths, and this drew us together,” says Scott about the world class ensemble who are alumni of such renowned places as The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, Circa and the National Institute of Circus Arts. McAulay and Scott had been together three years when Casus began with Scott working full time with Circa which was starting to strain their relationship. “With me being on tour most of the year, what better way to spend more time with one another than co-found a company along with our friends,” he says.
To date Casus has performed in 25 different countries and had three ensembles on the road at the same time. They are a totally independent arts company, and pride themselves on having the only all indigenous touring circus show in Chasing Smoke, as well having an equal number of men and women in the company.
And people, not the skills, is what the company starts with when they begin to make a show. “We definitely have kick ass circus skills, but this is not our main priority,” says McAulay, “First comes good people with good connections, diversity, and humanity. Casus Circus is always looking to strengthen the arts industry with the people we hire.”
For Scott, Circus has been his whole life. “I was first carried into the Flying Fruit Fly Circus when I was three months old and at the age of 18 I graduated and knew without a doubt I wanted to peruse a career in circus” he says. Having had so many inspiring trainers and mentors, Scott was able to find a place in the profession pretty easily and he’s never looked back. “Well, maybe when my body feels like it’s about to break I do wonder what a life without circus would be,” he quips, “but that thought vanishes pretty quickly.”
For McAulay, the risk of live circus is a pure thrill for both performers and audience. “The possibility of something going wrong is always there and then combine that with the poetry of movement… that’s what I love,” he says. “Hearing the audience gasp at a trick, or wipe away a tear never gets old to me.”
You & I is a transparent journey of love, circus and friendship celebrating the importance of being visible in a world of closed doors. For both Scott and McAulay, it is a glimmer of hope in these difficult times. It shows that with the right person by your side anything is possible. And it has a whole lot of mad circus tricks!
January 22 – 25
www.gasworks.org.au and www.midsumma.org.au