No MC, no pretence. Just a whole lot of fun and fabulous, the award winning No Frills is coming to Adelaide Fringe after a sell-out Melbourne season.

The ground-breaking show strips away the glitz, glamour and over-the-top lighting of the normal sexy circus saga to leave us with 80kg of circus, a truckload of acrobatics, a healthy dose of comedy and a tonne of danger.

We spoke with presenter Kiri Pedersen about what makes this show unique to all the other death-defying offerings at Adelaide Fringe this year.

“It’s originally a Melbourne show, so we worked very closely with NICA and the circus community down in Melbourne. So, the performers are all working, studying and doing corporate gigs, so they wanted a place for having no frills, where we can get up-and-comers to get that stage experience and try out new work they probably couldn’t do in front of a corporate audience . Then they can push the boundaries a bit more,” she says.

“We’ve really stripped it back, so, you’re not going to have the over the top lighting, you’re not going to be required to have the fancy costume that can change colours, sparkle, and all the bits and pieces. I think we’re on to about eight shows, and it keeps growing. We have people who have been performing with Cirque du Soleil, who have actually requested to come because they want to do something different. We say, ‘Well this is the place for you to do it!'”.

With so many circus offerings to choose from at Adelaide Fringe, Kiri reckons No Frills stands out because they shine a spotlight on the performers and their skills, rather than smoke and mirrors.

“Chris Carlos and Matt Casey have been performing for a number of years and Chris is a regular at Adelaide Fringe. We’ve got Malia Walsh who is a regular hit at Adelaide Fringe, and she brings everything from comedy to sex appeal, to hoops to a flying, mid-aerial keg. She just loves pushing boundaries about what she can do as a performer, and what her body can do,” she says.

“We’ve got one of the best hula hoopers in Australia, Anna Fisher, as well. The skills that she pulls out at such a young age… she’s really developed her character over the years. it’s just impressive. Then obviously we’ve got Chris Carlos and Matt Casey who co-produce as well as performing. So, we’ve got fire, acro, magic… This is what circus is.”

With a rotating cast of local and interstate performers, you never know what you’re going to get with No Frills Cabaret, except wall to wall fun, that is.

“The thing that’s really unique with our show is that we don’t have a dedicated MC, so after each act, the performer has to get up and introduce the new act. So, you will get to see the performer who’s just bent over backward, or fallen from the sky be vulnerable behind a microphone to explain what the next act is about,” Kiri says.

So, you get to see a side of a performer that you may not necessarily, as an audience member, see in their performances. Some have a very comedic style, others are quite traditional. You never know what to expect at No Frills.”

Circus has morphed, developed, transformed and grown over the centuries, but it has never lost its appeal, which Kiri says is because people love to be wowed.

“I feel there is still that allure that circus brings to people, that you just go, ‘I would love to run away with the circus.’ And you can have acts that are as grand as Cirque du Soleil and you can also have one woman shows. You can see five circus shows and there might be some similarities, but they’ll all be different at the same time. You can do circus and music, circus as sideshow, circus and comedy. It’s phenomenal,” she says.

You can catch No Frills Cabaret in Gluttony at Adelaide Fringe by grabbing your tickets HERE.

By Libby Parker