A Chat With Robbie Curtis, circus performer – Wunderkammer

Robbie Curtis
Robbie Curtis

Brisbane based circus company C!RCA, who tour nationally and internationally, will be in Melbourne later this month and Aussie Theatre's Emily Paddon-Brown managed to catch up with Robbie Curtis, who will be performing in their work Wunderkammer. The show opens on 14 August at the Malthouse Theatre.

C!rca is a Brisbane based circus company who, in their words, “create circus that moves the heart, mind and soul”.  Since 2006 they have toured twenty-four countries across five continents and been welcomed with critical acclaim.  They have two Helpmanns under their belt and in 2013 have up-sized from two touring ensembles to three. Wunderkammer translates to “A cabinet of curiosities” and certainly I found myself very curious when I checked out some of their publicity shots!

I had the good fortune to have a chat on a rainy afternoon with Robbie Curtis, an ensemble member performing in Wunderkammer. Curtis is a dancer, gymnast and juggler and where else can you do all three but in circus? “It’s the perfect medium”, says Robbie.

Curtis started off as a juggler and then moved on to gymnastics and then dance. He studied in Wellington at the highly acclaimed New Zealand School of Dance and describes Wellington as a beautiful, multi-cultural place to go to university.

After two years working freelance in Sydney, Curtis tells me how nice it is to be part of an ensemble where he can just focus on the work. He toured with the C!rca show “S” to a festival in Montreal, and was excited by seeing performances by some of the best circus companies in the world. As he described it, it was a magical experience to find himself “up there with the best.”

Curtis loved the process of joining the cast of Wunderkammer; the show had been touring for a while when he came on board. He speaks highly of director Yaron Lifschitz who, he says, worked with everyone’s strengths to create the best possible show.


Curtis describes Wunderkammer as abstract, ambiguous and unusual, “very physical and visceral”; a show that invites the audience to use their imagination.

Curtis assures me that Wunderkammer is quite magical, with a real sense of play. If you need a bit of magic in your life, head to the circus of wonders at the Malthouse.

Wunderkammer by C!rca

Venue: Malthouse Theatre

Dates: 14/8/13- 1/9/13

Booking Information: Book through the Malthouse website or call 03 9685 5111


Emily Paddon-Brown

Emily trained at NASDA prior to gaining a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre from WAAPA. After graduating she debuted in Guys & Dolls where she had the blessing to understudy the role of Sarah Brown played by Lisa McCune. Emily then travelled to Korea with Jekyll & Hyde understudying the lead role Emma and Lady Beaconsfield. On screen Emily has been a lead in the feature films Only the Young Die Good and The Last of the Living. She has also acted in many short and corporate films including The Melbourne Appreciation Society. Emily has also worked as a producer, director, choreographer, teacher, stage manager and dance captain. For more info visit www.emilypaddonbrown.com

Emily Paddon-Brown