Run away to the circus with Ania Reynolds

As Circus Oz get ready for the 20 June premiere of From The Ground Up 2012, AussieTheatre’s Anne-Marie Peard has a chat with a new member of the troupe each week until opening. And there are double passes to give away!

Formed in Melbourne in 1978, Circus Oz has toured the world as a rock’n’roll, animal-free circus with shows filled with breathtaking agility, death-defying stunts, awe-inspiring acrobatics and irreverent comedy that’s always accompanied by a spectacular live band.

From The Ground Up 2012 is musician Ania Reynolds first show with Circus Oz. She plays keyboards, baritone saxophone, clarinet, drums, Brazilian percussion, French Horn. She’s worked with companies like Polyglot Puppet Theatre, Westside Circus, the Women’s Circus and Melbourne Workers’ Theatre and with performers like The Town Bikes and Heath McIvor. She won a Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction in Cabaret for Yana Alana And Tha Paranas In Concert and when she’s not jumping around on the Circus Oz stage, she performs with Afrobeat group Papa Chango, brass marching band The Red Brigade, and surf/garage/rock band Johnnie and the Johnnie Johnnies.

Ania Reynolds, Circus Oz
Ania Reynolds, Circus Oz

What do you do in From The Ground Up?
I play in the band.

What was the first circus trick you learnt?
How to headbang from my belly to avoid damaging my neck muscles.

What circus skill do you wish you had?
Playing trumpet upside-down on a trapeze without feeling like my eyes are going to pop out

What are you always up for?

When did you join Circus Oz?

What do you love about Circus Oz?
The people, fun, humour and philosophy.

Do you remember your first trip to the circus?
Yes, it was the Moscow Circus at the Entertainment Centre, 1987, Melbourne.

What’s your favourite post-show snack?
Red wine.

Who do you love seeing in the audience?
Everyone, from little kids to old folk. Quentin Bryce’s impeccably manicured hair (in Sydney 2012) was also a highlight.

What’s your advice for people who want to run away to the circus?
Do it! Don’t be afraid of makin’ it up as you go along. Play some sort of music too.

Where and what did you study?
NMIT – Advanced Diploma of Music Performance – Jazz/Contemporary/Popular.

What was your first circus performance?
With the Westside Circus band in Urban Heroes, Melbourne Fringe 2000.

How many suitcases do you tour with?
One – and it has 20% extra secret space.

When you’re touring, what can’t you leave home without?
My 20% extra space suitcase. My pandeiro. And red high-heeled Doc Marten boots.

Where’s your favourite place to tour to?
Madrid, Spain and deep south USA. And anywhere I haven’t been to before.

Popcorn: sweet or savoury?
Savoury (with chilli and salt)

If you couldn’t be in the circus, what would you do?
Surround myself with vintage keyboards and never leave the house. Or go to Brazil.

Are you scared of clowns?

If you could teach Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott a circus trick, what would it be?
How to stick their head in the mouth of a lion. I wouldn’t be too worried about the outcome.

Thanks to a special arrangement with Circus Oz, AussieTheatre thrilled to be running a ticket giveaway competition for From The Ground Up. A new winner will be drawn each week for the next six weeks – but never fear, if you don’t win in week one, you’ll still be in the running for each subsequent week! 

Enter Competition

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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