“All the world's a circus. Sometimes you choose your act and sometimes it's assigned to you”.

These words from well-known author Mia Sheridan aptly reflect the creative processes behind NICA graduating students’ latest performance Qu’est-ce Que C’est - there are 19 roles, 19 performers but multiple personalities and skill-sets. So how do you decide who plays which roles?

NICA’s artistic practices focus on giving students a real-life experience by pairing them with a circus “practitioner”, in this instance world-renown Charlotte Saliou (a Paris-based circus director). For Ms Saliou, her challenge was to become familiar with the students and who they are on stage – their characters as performers. For the graduating NICA students, it has been a journey exploring the identities of the characters in the production by uncovering their own individual talents as well as those of group developed during the three years of study at NICA.

In previous NICA performances this year, audiences have enjoyed the most extraordinary displays of the physical mastery of the circus arts by these students, so it seems proper that the final show for the year focusses on the comedic aspects of circus performance. After all, as Cole Porter tells us: “all the world loves a clown”.

So, Qu’est-ce Que C’est: what is the mystery?

The plot is a simple one, someone has gone missing and the characters are on a hunt to solve the case. However, in the tradition of Hollywood’s Keystone Cops, this “who dunnit” yarn features some well-rehearsed on-stage pandemonium as the audience is promised a “spectacle of eccentricity, exultation, spontaneity and humour”.

Grab your over-sized magnifying glass now and join the NICA students for the final chapter of their excursion into the mad-cap world of circus clowning.


Dates: 28 November – 8 December

Times: Wednesday - Saturday 7.30pm, 1.30pm matinee on 8 December Venue: NICA National Circus Centre, 39-59 Green St, Prahran Duration: 75 minutes (no intermission) Cost: Admission costs apply Rated: PG– Parental Guidance Recommended

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