Daylesford’s Melody Webb and Sam Hryckow, founders of Fish and Moo Productions, have recently purchased a circus big top.
The family erected their new circus tent, which was formerly owned by Circus Latino, for the first time in Ashbourne earlier this month.
Mr Hryckow, who has been a circus artist for the last 20 years, said the family, including his wife and three young sons, had recently returned to the area after five years in Europe.
They spent most of their time abroad touring and performing circus and cabaret at festivals from Glastonbury to Berlin.
“When you’ve got three small children and a mortgage, running away to join the circus is easier said than done. That’s why we bought our own,” he said.
Ms Webb said the tent was christened ‘The May Wirth,’ after the famous Australian equestrian acrobat.
“We saw it listed on Facebook … we had always wanted one so we bought it in partnership with Mason and Caz, who are ex Circus Oz performers. We are going to use it as much as we can,” she said.
The group will rent out the big top as a venue for big name local festivals like Daylesford’s Chillout Festival as well as the new Live Love Life Festival.
“It’s quite hard to get venues in Daylesford. Things come and go, the Town Hall is quite busy so you can’t always get in there,” Ms Webb said.
It’s quite hard to get venues in Daylesford. Things come and go, the Town Hall is quite busy so you can’t always get in thereMelody Webb
Ms Webb, who was formerly an international lawyer at UNESCO in Paris, has always possessed a passion for stories celebrating the strength and resilience of Australian women.
“In my mind, May Wirth, who toured the world with Barnum and Bailey but came from humble origins in Bundaberg, Queensland, epitomizes the unsung strength of the Australian woman and tells a uniquely Australian story,” she said.
“She was the first person to ever perform a backward somersault on a horse so we are naming this tent after her and other strong, female Australians.”
“It’s our goal to tell these stories and keep alive these voices through our circus cabaret productions, the first of which is to be titled RETOX and will premiere at the Live. Life. Love. Festival in November 2018.”
Ms Webb said the group hoped to do a rural tour.
“The concept behind it is that we would bring art to rural areas.
“For The Live. Life. Love Festival we will do a show called RETOX. It is a wellness festival so is all about getting hot stone massages and detoxing but we want to bring some fun adult cabaret and a circus show into the mix.
“One adult performer will be upside down drinking brandy and another will do a martini routine,” she said.
“Often in rural parts of Victoria and even wider Australia, there are touring kids shows, but there are rarely ever circus shows for adults,” she said. “So our main idea is to bring arts to the country.”
The tent will also travel to Adelaide Fringe Festival.
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