Gig Scene: Melbourne Festival: Limbo – Spiegeltent, October 20th 2015

It’s no wonder that Melbourne wins the title of ‘Most liveable city’ year after year when it has the likes of the Melbourne Festival and its generous serving of all things artistic at its annual disposal.

The Melbourne Festival showcases a plethora of things creative, with a programme of theatre, visual arts, multimedia productions, music, and outdoor events held each October. It’s difficult to choose just one or two shows when the variety and quality of performance is so good. Luckily many of the shows are free or inexpensive, which gives us the chance to experience as many items on the ‘menu’ as we wish to ‘consume’.

Those of us who experienced Limbo on Tuesday night in the incredible Spielgeltent, were left gobsmacked by the spectacle. The atmosphere was definitely ‘steampunk’ – conjured by the original music, aesthetics of the tent itself and the sideshow alley flavour of the acts.

For all of Limbo’s seemingly expansive production, there are relatively few performers. The musicians Elyas Khan, Mick Stuart and Eamon McNelis played original music by New York composer Sxip Shirey. Tigris, the contortionist from Germany, started things off by defying gravity and almost turning himself inside out. Danik Abishev can walk on his hands just as well as most can walk on two feet. Australia’s Hilton Dennis has the hip-hop beats and Coney Island’s sword swallower Heather Halliday shocked us into awe-inspired silence. Evelyne Allard the French Canadian aerialist showed how she could cling to a hoop using her toes and Mikael Bres the pole master was steadier on his Chinese poles than most of us are on a chair.

Each act was performed with aplomb in the style of cabaret. Transitions between acts sometimes took a few minutes, but there was a lot of equipment to be secured and we were in need of a rest from the jaw-dropping feats of the artists.

Perhaps, if you’re lucky, you may be able to catch Limbo for the first time (or second) next year. They are most definitely worth the wait.

About Sharon Brookes 67 Articles
Sharon is a freelance music journalist with 20 years experience writing for street press, web publications and blogs. She specialises in reviewing gigs, books, CD’s, and theatre productions.