Tim Coldwell (Circus Oz)
Circus Oz was founded in late 1977 as an amalgamation of two already successful Australian groups, Soapbox Circus and the New Circus. The principles that were the heart of the original Circus Oz philosophy are still reflected in their performances today: collective ownership and creation, gender equity, a uniquely Australian signature and team work.
The founding members of Circus Oz loved the skills and tricks of traditional circus but wanted to make a new show that a contemporary audience could relate to, adding elements of rock 'n' roll, popular theatre and satire. They wanted it to be funny, irreverent and spectacular, a celebration of the group as a bunch of multi skilled individual women and men, rather than a hierarchy of stars. Above all, they didn't want to take themselves too seriously. They sewed and welded together their own circus tent, got together a collection of old trucks and caravans and went on the road. Circus Oz was a fresh and original voice in circus and the company was immediately popular with Australian audiences. Within a few years, they began to tour internationally, with visits to New Guinea and Europe.
Since that time Circus Oz has performed in 26 different countries, across five continents and to over two million people. They have broken box office records at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and represented Australia at scores of international festivals. They have performed on 42nd Street, at the Tivoli Gardens, in a refugee camp in the West Bank, in indigenous communities in the Australian desert and in a glass opera house in the Brazilian rainforest.
Along the way they have translated parts of the show into scores of languages including Hindi, Japanese and Danish.