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Oddacity promised an “award-winning, best-of spectacular with a cast of international luminaries performing stylish acts”, under the beautiful skylight in Bats’ Heyday Dome.   I wasn’t sure what to expect, knowing the theatre wouldn’t suit aerials or acrobatics, but I hoped  for clowns.  I was not disappointed in that sense.

Oddacity is usually Sachie Mikawa, Trent Baumann, and Fraser Hooper, all accomplished clowns with various talents in music, juggling, and performative absurdity.  Hooper sadly couldn’t perform on Saturday night, but in his place was Vinyl Burns, our very own Las Vegas showman, and he was absolutely the right man to tag in.

Each performer is seasoned and polished, and with their own unique style.  Mikawa is a childlike doll of a clown, providing a genuinely innocent whimsy to her parts.  Whether inviting an audience member onstage to simply toast her birthday, playing a little tune on her horn, or playing Lovely Assistant to Baumann in an inexplicable egg costume, she’s 100% committed to her persona, and it’s completely charming.

Baumann is a little jaded, slick, and sardonic, juggling plastic bags and pouring water up one nostril and out the other.  It’s weird and a little silly, but he’s smooth as silk even when the soundie messed up his cues a little.

Burns is a brilliant character, and his diabolo juggling doesn’t miss a beat, even when it does.  Burns and Baumann both show off their balancing skills, and Burns’ is impressive, at one point balancing a stool on his chin while he played guitar to a loop track and never dropping character at all.

We all loved the soft toy fight they instigated, we all clapped along and laughed throughout the performance, throwing the roses we’d been given when the time came.  But rather than a full variety show, it was more a tasting platter, a bare 45 minutes to dip our toes in.  With the calibre of the cast I’d happily have stayed for more, and perhaps felt a little let down at the brevity of it.  But it will absolutely inspire me to check out more of Vinyl Burns’ shows – he’s local, and a staple of our festival season, and he’s bloody brilliant.


For a taste of tomfoolery and hijinks from internationally recognised performers, Oddacity is on for two more nights at Bats, 9pm in the Heyday Dome