‘Absolute Trash’ was trash-tastic.
A dark alleyway strung with fairy lights led audience members to a car park-turned-stage as one of the many venues of the Wynnum Fringe Festival. Working in the alternative space, Glitter Martini, the producing company of ‘Absolute Trash’, transformed the car park into the stage needed for their circus variety show. As the title suggests, the show focused on trash – both as physical waste and as a personality trait.
Hosted by Natrasha Binit, ‘Absolute Trash’ is an hour-long variety show featuring aerialists, acrobats, contortionists, specialty acts and physical comedy. Presenting the subject matter “waste”, ‘Absolute Trash’ mixed social commentary into their performances. Originally created for the Anywhere Festival, ‘Absolute Trash’ premiered as online performances, followed by a live performance in Brisbane; all in conjunction with the Anywhere Festival.
Glitter Martini used simple lighting equipment that illuminated the stage whilst giving it a slight wash of blue and purple. These lighting effects remained the same for the entirety of the show, except for the automatic car park lights behind the stage. These came on halfway through the show shining towards the audience; the lights were a bit jarring throughout the rest of the show, as it made it hard to see the action on the stage at times.
Audience involvement was another major part of the show. At the bottom of the stage, there was a sign made of cardboard with a phone number written on it. Before and throughout the show, the audience was encouraged to text the phone number confessions as to why they are “trash”. Another interactive moment was when the silent character “Clarence the Bin Chicken” invited some audience members onstage and gave them squeaky toys as he conducted them to the music; this then escalated as the rest of the audience was handed squeaky toys to join in the fun.
Glitter Martini’s staging was simple but utilitarian. Temporary staging was used as the main stage, with one smaller piece that was brought onto the stage and used for the contortionist act. On top of the stage was a pyramid-aerial frame that was used and interchanged to accommodate the lyra, trapeze and silk hammock acts which required rigging. Before the show, four of the performers were seen wearing face masks, scrubs, and rubber gloves; they would walk around the stage and the car park “cleaning” things with a chux rag and interacting with the audience here and there to “clean” their belongings. On the stage, there was a wheelie bin that was used by the comedy skits to reveal the bin chicken and was used as a bin to throw away unneeded props. During the show, Glitter Martini used both light-up and standard hula-hoops for one of their specialty acts, which elevated the scenes and added more visual effects..
Darcie Rae Boatswain showcased her knowledge and skill of specialist and aerial acts by creating and directing ‘Absolute Trash’. Rae Boatswain has created a witty and wonderful show that mixes comedy with circus performers and their love of audience involvement.
Binit, played by Trent Werda, led the show with both comedic style and grace. Werda was the comic relief for the audience as preparations and riggings were changed for the next aerial, specialist or comedic act. Werda was a natural at controlling and interacting with the audience.
Calum Johnston, playing Clarence the Bin Chicken, was an incredible addition to the show’s cast. As the silent comedic act, they expertly conveyed their interactions with the audience and brought an intense amount of energy to the show, which elevated the comedic performances.
Four other performers showcased a variety of talents throughout the show: Darcie Rae Boatswain on the trapeze, the contortionist Elena Khaw, Abbii Allora with the hoops, and Rachel Stephens on the silk hammock. Each performer left the audience awestruck with their skills and performances.
Expertly balanced between comedic skits and skilled specialist acts, ‘Absolute Trash’ was an enjoyable “hole in the wall” experience. The show cleverly used the alternative stage space as needed to convey their fun and exciting social commentary of trash and waste in our world, both the physical and the characteristic.
‘Absolute Trash’ performed until 20 November at Mrs Quinns Carpark as part of the Wynnum Fringe Festival. For more information, visit Glitter Martini’s website.