Circus Oz: Model Citizens, showing at The Arts Centre this Wednesday, is a thrilling rock-n-roll-style circus made up of breathtaking stunts, irreverent humour and cracking live music.
We chat with Mitch Jones (aka Captain Ruin) about knife throwing, straight jackets and what we can expect from the show.
Circus Oz is showing on the Gold Coast this week, what can we expect from the show?
The show is a spectacular and entertaining satire of modern Australian society. It pokes fun at some of the more traditional aspects of our culture, while also giving a great message about diversity, equality and acceptance. We use an amazing array death defying stunts, high energy acrobatics and beautifully theatrical circus artistry to tell this brand new story.
What do you love about visiting the Gold Coast?
I have been lucky enough to visit some friends in the Tallebudgera Valley twice before. My favourite thing about the Gold Coast is definitely the incredibly beautiful scenery!
What’s your role in the show?
I play the outsider who arrives into a mysterious new world and has to learn about each of the other performers. I also host the show in a way and act as the through line for some of the scenes. Personally I throw knives, do an upside down straitjacket escape, eat fire, perform acrobatics and do some highwire rope walking. A little bit of everything!
What’s your favourite part?
I love performing my knife throwing routine. I work with Freyja Edney in this piece, and I’m really proud of what we have made for Model Citizens. It is knife throwing in a style that I have not seen before – it flows and dances across the stage and conveys a very different energy and mood to most traditional knives routines.
How did you come to be involved with Circus Oz?
They approached me last year while I was on tour as Captain Ruin and asked if I would like to audition for Model Citizens. I was excited to work with their new Artistic Director Rob Tannion so here I am!
What has it taken to get you to where you are today?
About 15 years of artistic idealism, professional integrity and eating out of dumpsters because I didn’t have any money. I have been training in circus since I was 14, and making my own independent performance work since I was 17. I’ve worked all round the world, and am always looking for the next exciting thing to get involved in.
Your favourite piece of life advice?
I practice what I call ‘cheerful nihilism’, which I sum up like this: the world is meaningless, existence is pointless and we’re all going to die. So lets try and be nice to each other, look after the planet and have a good time while we are here!