In my current effort to see as many performances with music as possible, I was lucky to be treated to an outing to Circus Oz (thank you, Katherine!) Circus Oz, for those who don’t know them, is mostly acrobatic and physically based – think Cirque de Soleil seasoned with Australian irreverence and much better music.
A great time was had, although it was a stinking hot day and the big top turned into a sauna. I was particularly struck by the band, and in particular the drummer.
I have a confession – I am learning the drums. I started almost two years ago, and I’m at the stage where I know how much more I have to learn. I have a wonderful teacher, Bruce Stephens, and he has guided me through some rocky places already. The Acquisition of The Drum Kit(s), for example (another time, I might tell that story here).
So I now watch the drummer in any band (I used to watch the singer) and the drummer at Circus Oz was fantastic, both as a musician and as a performer. Very inspiring.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the acts, the experience at Circus Oz made me acutely aware of how important sound quality is for dialogue. The acts often included patter or commentary which could not be properly heard, and this meant that the nuances of the jokes and their relationship to the performances were lost. In the end, I think most people just stopped listening and watched. There was more than enough in the performances to keep everyone entertained, but I thought it was a shame that whatever they were trying to do in the script was lost on the audience.
The lesson for me for Victor the musical? Not too many words and make them directly related to the scene.