Meet the musos behind Circus OZ

Newcastle Live -

Music

Circus Oz shows have become renowned for their amazing live music performed by their physically acrobatic band. With the show coming to the Civic Theatre on September 12th and 13th we thought we’d take a look at the people behind the music.

BEN HENDRY

CircusOz2014_BenHendry_ExtendedBio

SKILLS INCLUDE: DRUM SET, TUNED PERCUSSION, SAMPLER, BANJO, GUITAR, BASS

Ben is a creative and diverse musician. He is known for his unique and thoughtful approach and his versatility on the drum kit. A graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts, Ben has worked extensively with Melbourne’s most respected jazz musicians, popular singer- songwriters, as well as within the Melbourne comedy and cabaret scenes. He has toured and performed throughout Australia and Europe with many different bands and companies. A composer and music director, Ben is highly sought after for projects through film, theatre, television, and recording session work. His curriculum vitae boasts a long list of collaborations with artists including Tim Rogers, Reggie Watts, Mark Seymour, Deborah Conway, Eddie Perfect, comedy duo Die Roten Punkte, and circus artist Rockie Stone. In 2013, Ben toured Europe filling in on drums with The Cat Empire, as well as supporting them in their Australian and European tour with Flap!, of which he is an original member.

ANIA REYNOLDS

CircusOz2014_AniaReynolds_ExtendedBio

SKILLS INCLUDE: KEYBOARDS, BARITONE SAXOPHONE, CLARINET, DRUMS, BRAZILIAN PERCUSSION, FRENCH HORN

Ania has worked as a freelance musician and composer after completing an Advanced Diploma of Music Performance in 2003 at the Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE. She worked with Polyglot Theatre from 2000 on projects including Stop That House! (2004), We Built This City (2004- 2010), Checkout! (2007), The Big Game (2008-09) and Tangle (2010-12) which she toured to New York in July 2012 as part of the Lincoln Centre’s Summer Outdoor Festival. Ania’s first brush with the circus was with Westside Circus’ Urban Heroes (2000). She continued with Westside Circus as a musician, musical director and composer until joining Circus Oz in 2010. Ania has also worked for the National Institute of Circus Arts, the Women’s Circus, Asking For Trouble Physical Theatre, Melbourne Workers’ Theatre Company and Asphyxia’s The Grimstones, and has scored several short films. In 2010 Ania won a Green Room Award for Best Musical Direction in Cabaret for Yana Alana And Tha Paranas In Concert. She currently plays with afrobeat group Papa Chango; surf/garage/rock band Johnnie and the Johnnie Johnnies; and genre-busting progressive- polka-experimental-kozmigroov- post-funk-symphonic- hard-rock-avant-ska sonic conceptualization collective, The Whoopee Project.

KYLE RAFTERY

CircusOz2014_KyleRaftery_ExtendedBio

SKILLS INCLUDE: ACROBATICS, FLYING TRAPEZE, JUGGLING, UNICYCLE ADAGIO, TRUMPET

Kyle trained at the National Institute of Circus Arts, graduating in 2005 with a full final-year scholarship. He has established his own successful freelance business as a circus artist. Kyle has worked as a solo performer, as a member of many small companies as well as undertaking contracts with large international companies. Kyle’s credits include: Darling Harbour Hoopla, P&O Cruises, Ben 10 Live Stage Show (Malaysia), ACT 3 International, Lunar Circus, Melbourne Circus Festival, Western Australian Circus Festival, Hobart Summer Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, International Circus Festival of Cambodia, La Mama for Kids, Fun4Kids Festival, Cirque du Monde (Singapore), and ThisSideUp acrobatics. Passionate about working with children, Kyle has delivered work- shops all over regional New South Wales and Victoria as well as working with street kids in Singapore and Cambodia. He is one half of performing duo Two Up Circus and runs the Little Red Trapeze Company, touring flying trapeze shows across Australia. In 2013 Kyle got engaged to his beautiful fiancée and set a unicycle world record by riding 30 metres on his hands!

MATT WILSON

CircusOz2014_MattWilson_ExtendedBio

SKILLS INCLUDE: ACROBATICS, HAND-BALANCING, SLAPSTICK COMEDY, CLOWN, JUGGLING, HIGH FALLS, HUMAN CANNONBALL, FLYING TRAPEZE, HOOP- DIVING, GUITAR, CLARINET, SAXOPHONE, PERCUSSION AND VOCALS

Matt has worked professionally for over 22 years as a circus acrobat, actor, stuntman, singer, musician and director. He has performed with companies including Circus Oz, Arena Theatre, Malthouse Theatre, Dislocate, Rock’n’Roll Circus, Circus Monoxide, Legs on the Wall and many more. Most recently Matt toured as stunt double for Barry Humphries’ farewell performance Eat, Pray, Laugh and also as the lead role in The Republic of the Trees, for the Castlemaine State Festival. As well as teaching performance and coordinating many projects at the National Institute of Circus Arts, Matt has directed several student productions and has recently taught at Westside Circus and Circus Oz. Over the years, Matt has climbed, fallen, swung, tumbled, flown, juggled and crashed his way through his career. Highlights include: bungee jumping off the Sydney Opera House on New Year’s Eve 2000; being shot out of a cannon over the audience in the New Victory Theatre in New York; and falling off an elephant dressed as Dame Edna (that’s Matt as Edna, not the elephant!) Matt (a.k.a ‘Crashmatt’) thinks performing in the circus is just the best thing! “Actuality or artifice? The circus is somewhere between….it’s a fascinating place to be.”

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