Petit Circus: Bon Appetit

Restaurant's ready: circus is served! This delightful, messy show will have the whole family hungry for fun food-themed acrobatics, aerials, juggling, musical comedy and more!

Set in a restaurant full of food and kitchen related circus skills, fun audience engagement, and more, this show is high energy, joyful circus! Bon Appetit showcases an impressive range of circus skills, underpinned by a simple narrative where the performers prepare food in a restaurant, which gives the show a familiar kitchen experience that can be relatable and engaging for all family members and audiences.

Bon Appetit follows the antics of seasoned restaurateur, Jane, eccentric master chef, Chef Anderson, and the server, Chris – who is endlessly working on his future musical masterpiece. Together they rush to make the most masterful of meals, for the entire audience, a table of 100, and even the Queen. The story is told through circus: washing dishes becomes a high-energy tissu routine, making desert a juggling act, crafting the entree a delicate balance of skill and precision, and the finale a dizzying plate-spinning act the has the audience on the edge of their seats, watching the whole feast come together.

Form and Style

Bon Appetit is a circus show, tailored for children and family audiences. Each act in the show revolves around a food or restaurant-related topic, which is then adapted and presented through a circus act. It is high energy, using aerials, acrobatics, juggling, hula hoops, clown, slack rope, and various other circus acts, all with a lighthearted, comic tone.

The show has a simple narrative, which is easy to follow, and it revolves around something we all love: food! We can be adaptive, responsive, and engaging to a wide variety of audiences, including multilingual and newcomer communities, and people who have never before seen circus.

There is socially-distanced audience engagement in the show, including asking children for suggestions on meals to make, responses to Chef Anderson’s creations and Chris’s musical experiments, and encouragement through the finale plate spinning act.

Community Engagement

The cast of Bon Appetit are professional circus artists hailing from across Australia, each with extensive training and performing backgrounds, all equipped to provide high caliber circus workshops for all age groups. Artists Jane Scofield and Chris Singer are graduates of Canberra’s acclaimed Warehouse Circus programs; and artist Matt Anderson received his Bachelor of Circus Arts from National Institute of Circus Arts. They all have national experience as circus arts coaches and teachers, focusing primarily on aerials, hula hoops, juggling, partner acrobatics, and a variety of other skills, which can be tailored towards the interests of community participants.

When past venues have requested community engagement, the performers have set up introductory circus workshops, focusing on skills which are easy to grasp in a short amount of time. For example, at Bunjl Place in Victoria, the performers split the young audience into three circus stations, focused on juggling, hula hoops, and beginner acrobatics. The youth then rotated among stations and were taught 1-2 basic tricks over the course of 45-60 minutes, which gave them a general overview as well as small successes they could continue developing when they went home.

Other venues have requested more socially-distanced community engagement opportunities lately, especially those wanting to avoid shared props with children. One of the opportunities developed as a result is a roving ice cream cart act, where the performers can walk among the venue grounds, and perform circus tricks – like juggling or acrobatics – while speaking to prospective audiences. This may be best suited for longer runs at festivals, where the performers visit during an opening night gala, or something to that effect.

Finally, the performers in Bon Appetit are adaptable and open to any community engagement ideas that the venue may have, including post-show Q&A’s or socially-distanced and COVID-safe photo ops with audiences.

Reviews

“What an absolute joy this performance was… no breaks or slow spots; three actors and performers who appeared at the top of their game, and simple circus theatrics throughout, done with flair and excitement.” – The Barefoot Review

“Of all of the kids’ circuses and shows that I have seen, this is probably the most seamless and professional. A quick look around at the audience confirmed my suspicions that the adults were enjoying the show just as much as the kids. In truth, I’d probably go and see this by myself, such is the level of acrobatic mastery and genuine entertainment. If you have kids, like kids or were once a kid, this show is a total must-see.” – Kryztoff

“It is really hard to find a family friendly show to suit the younger crew as well as the early teens, but Petit Circus have done just that, with their new show in 2021 ‘Bon Appetit’… this is a fast paced, acrobatic filled comic delight that had Mr 6 cracking himself up at the slapstick whilst the teens and parents loved the acrobatics and juggling. The crowd just ate this up (food pun totally intended) and the hour just flew by, so you know it is a good show.” – Kids in Adelaide

Available Marketing Collaterals

Bon Appetit is the latest iteration of Petit Circus, a family-friendly circus cabaret produced by Highwire Entertainment. The ‘Petit Circus’ Show has been touring with different stories and imaginative themes for the past thirteen years all across Australia, and has an extensive performance history and marketing collateral.

Bon Appetit in particular has been running for two years, and has the following available for marketing collateral:

  • Professional posters and flyer artwork, including hero images;
  • A professional video trailer;
  • Photographs from a live performance;
  • A collection of stellar 4- and 5-star reviews;
  • A collection of awards and nominations, including Best of Children’s Weekly Awards at the Adelaide Fringe;
  • An strong social media presence including reposts of audience reviews and photographs;
  • And sample media releases.
Credits

The presenting company, Highwire Entertainment, is a proven Australia-wide circus powerhouse. With two producers from Perth, one from Melbourne, and one in Adelaide, the company has toured works all across the nation including sell-out seasons at Perth Fringe World of their adults-only circus, Rouge, and regional tours including Margaret River and Karratha.

The Bon Appetit circus artists are diverse, multi-skilled professionals.

Jane Schofield is a circus performer with an international career, and has performed with Long Answers to Simple Questions, Circus Oz, and Highwire Entertainment . She is as comfortable in the air as she is on the ground, and has performed hula hoops, juggling, tissue, roller skating, acrobatics and even acts which harken back to the days of vaudeville including spinning plates and walking globe.

Mathew Anderson is an accomplished musician and circus performer, with bachelor’s degrees in Music Performance and Circus Arts, and high levels of skill in acro, juggling, keyboard, slack rope, trombone, and meteor. He has worked with Papillon, Armistice, Le Petit Circus, Rebel, and The Itchy Feet Pep Band.

Chris Singer is an acrobat, juggler and multi-instrumentalist, who has been a circus performer for longer than he hasn’t. Armed with a wide array of skills and a deep understanding of music and stage craft, he creates captivating, highly-skilled acts with a sense of humour and cleverness.

Artforms

Children / Family, Circus

Audience

Bon Appetit is fun, family-friendly circus. Our primary target audiences are: youth & families (particularly ages 3-10); school groups (pre-school to grades 4-5); circus-lovers (we have acts that will delight first-time circus-goers, and still be jaw-dropping for the more experienced adult circus lovers in the audience); and foodies of all ages. The show is accessible to diverse and multilingual audiences, as the narrative and speaking sections are simple, easy to follow, and physically illustrated with circus performances as well. The show is also highly visual, so accessible for Deaf audiences as well - and where possible in performances (especially long-runs at festivals) we like to incorporate sessions for Auslan interpretation.

Duration

55 mins

Bump In

7-8 hours

Bump Out

1.5-2 hours

Costs

Weekly Fee: $5000-7000 + GST
Royalties: 9%

Company Contacts

Samantha Martin
0401 284 782
shows@highwire.com.au

Company Website

https://www.highwire.com.au



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Technical

Venue Format

Proscenium arch, black box, circus tent

Considerations

Maximum performances a week: 8

Does this show require a remount? No

First Possible Performance: 2 hours after bump-in

Minimum Break Between Shows: 2-3 hours (depending on venue – ie, if it’s an outdoor space and 2-3hrs
would put them outside in the hottest part of the day, we would extend
longer to give them more of a break from the heat).

Minimum stage dimensions: 7000mm wide x 5000mm deep performing space, with some space in the
wings or a backstage crossover, for props and costume changes. The
show can also be adjusted to fit larger or smaller stages.

Staging and Set Description: Bon Appetit has three aerial acts which require approximately 5000-6000mm overhead clearance (stage to lighting fixtures). These acts are: a single-point trapeze, an aerial tissue, and a slack rope. The equipment will be paged when it is not being used. The performers who are trained aerialists carry out all the mid-show rigging. There is an Australian Standard qualified rigger as part of the touring party. Venue Requirements for Aerial Acts: grid access upon arrival for bump in; copy of venue plan 4-6 weeks prior to tour start date; and at least 2 appropriate rigging points with a minimum load rating of 1 tonne. The show is currently designed to have both the trapeze and tissue rigged from the top of the show, on separate points. If suitable rigging is not available at the venue, the aerial acts can be substituted for ground-based circus acts, or omitted from the show. (This may alter the overall run-time). There are also several options for rigging the slack rope, depending on venue specs. There is a fire act in the show, consisting of a single fire torch. If the venue is unable to accommodate fire, this act can be omitted from the performance. A full risk assessment is available on request.

Lighting requirements: Bon Appetit has a simple, tour-friendly lighting design which can adapt to any venue’s rig. A generic touring LX design will be available as a guide. The show will utilize the standard lighting rig available in most venues, with additional specials. However, it is ideal to have the following: overs, or fixtures that can be focused, to light the tissu performer at height (TBD, determined by venue specifics); movers, or fixtures that can be focused, to light the juggling clubs at height (approximately 4-5m); LED wash fixtures to create a full stage wash with colour options; warm & cool front wash.

Audio requirements: Bon Appetit will provide all sound cues on a QLab file, to be operated during the show by a venue technician. The show will require: 1 x wireless mic pack & receiver for the ukulele; 2 x wireless handheld mic & receiver; 1 x boom mic stand; all appropriate leads; and a mixing desk, PA, and monitors, as appropriate for the venue.

Other technical or performance notes: If a venue does not have the capacity for aerial performances, we can discuss if alternatives are available, such as the potential of the show touring with a free-standing rig, or bringing a version with all ground-based acts. Some remount fees may be required, depending on how extensive the adaptation needs to be. For the bump-in, it is preferable to have two technicians – one on lights and one on sound, as well as someone in the venue who is familiar with the rigging plan. The show tours with a qualified head rigger (Jane Schofield) who will put up all of the apparatuses, but being able to talk to someone in the venue ahead of time who can speak to how they usually conduct rigging – including how points are accessed, what they are rated to, how they were rated, and provide any engineering specs on the points – is necessary for the show as well. Also, we know that not all venues, particularly historical ones, are able to have fire acts in the show. We of course understand this, and can adapt or remove that element of the act as necessary. The show can also provide all risk assessments and SWMS to go along with the show.