A new season of Circus of Objects returns to X-Cues’ on Sept. 30. This cabaret-style performance series features puppetry, object theatre, circus arts, music and bad magic, producer Grant Guy, formerly of Adhere & Deny, says.
The Circus of Objects is advertised as a place “where anarchy and pataphysics meet at an (un)controlled intersection.” The series is infused with Guy’s odd and interesting performance style, which is inspired by the work of performance artists like Stuart Sherman and Karl Valentin, a German cabaret performer.
Valentin performed in the really seedy venues, Guy says, the kind of place where there were “big steins of beer, big cigars and some of the most incredible characters. When we do Circus of Objects, we pay tribute to some of (those characters).”
Last season, Guy performed the main set each show. Guy tries to be funny, but he admits his “sense of humour may not suit everybody.”
“But, I think, over time, we become acclimatized to each other, but it may go wrong as our humours get aligned.”
One of his signature pieces is to perform Shakespeare plays in under three minutes. On Sept. 30, audience members will be treated to his version of Shakepeare’s Titus Andronicus, as well as Guy’s bad magic tricks.
This next season will have eight shows between September and May and will feature other performers like bouffant clown troupe the Talentless Lumps, puppeteer Estee Taylor, as well as Jeanne Randolph, Virginia Draghi Ranson and Amy Blaze.
Blaze “is sure to wow,” Guy says. Blaze is a multi-faceted performer and filmmaker, specializing in video projection dance and fire eating. On Sept. 30, she will perform three acts: knife throwing, hula hooping and projection-based dance.
“The projection is painting images in the air,” she says, “which I dance with, using different tools made of fabric, and as I dance, the projections are painted on my body.” These projections are custom-made by Blaze, who has a background as a filmmaker.
X-Cues’, a pool hall and bar on Sargent Avenue, provides a community-based, relaxed atmosphere for the Circus of Objects. X-Cues’ often features art exhibits, was a Fringe venue this summer for Cory Wojcik’s Mix Tapes From My Mom and regularly hosts the Caravan open mic, which will go on right after Circus of Objects on Sept. 30.
Through the laid-back atmosphere and intimate performances, and the Circus’ fascination with “popular entertainment” like circus arts and music, Guy intends to make the space accessible for everyone. There is no price of admission at the door, but they will pass the hat.
“I want to have admission that I can afford,” Guy says. “The Circus is for anybody – the arts community, bus drivers, gravediggers, broom pushers, electricians, anybody.”
The next Circus of Objects is on Sept. 30 at 7 p.m. at X-Cues’.
Published in Volume 74, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 19, 2019)