Mr Shaggles Circus World
Shannon McGurgan @ Gluttony – The Bally
2:00pm, Sat 9 Mar 2013
I was a massive fan of Circus Trick Tease; there’s been a tinge of sadness in the last couple of years when I realise that they weren’t performing in the Fringe. So I was delighted to spy Miss Tinkle and Mr Plonk hanging around the Garden one afternoon; I introduced myself, raved about how much I loved their work, then blundered on about how I wish they were doing a show again.
There’s a hint of annoyance as Mr Plonk – Shannon McGurgan – hands me a flyer featuring his Mr Shaggles persona.
Oh. Faux pas, we meet again.
So – in support of the Circus Trick Tease family (and partly in penance) – I committed to seeing Mr Shaggles Circus World. And there’s always a bit of a concern that niggles the back of my mind when turning up at a show aimed towards kids or families – I’m always afraid that other parents are going to look at the chunky orange-haired guy and wonder if he’s actually Captain Kiddie Stalker. But on this hot afternoon, there were actually more adults than children in the crowd; only four youngsters, who had to be cajoled to sit down the front, and around ten adults, who all sat near the entrance of The Bally fanning themselves furiously.
McGurgan bounds in wearing the bright greens and reds of his alter-ego Mr Shaggles, and there’s a faint hint of disappointment in his eye when he sees the thin crowd. But he quickly drags the youngsters on-side by “taming” some balloon animals, introducing them (via puppetry) to Bruce the angry koala, and (in the guise of the Argentinean Rod Reguez) gets some juggling action in.
It’s a shame that there were so few children in the crowd, because I think Mr Shaggles would create a glorious rabble with a gaggle of kids; as it was, he had to rely on young Jasmine to act as his chief Animal Trainer (she was great, firing up with pantomimic “He’s behind you!” exasperation). Lachlan, a slightly rowdy audient, was also cunningly corralled such that his outbursts were used for the enjoyment of others, and not just distraction. But when Mr Shaggles got all the kids on stage to perform acrobatics, the parents’ smiles and cameras came out for what I imagined would be quality shots.
Whilst Mr Shaggles Circus World didn’t really stand up to the ensemble (and adult-oriented) Circus Trick Tease, it’s clear that McGurgan worked tirelessly to entertain the kids – his shirt was absolutely drenched by the end of the show. And whilst I appreciate what was being performed, I reckon I might have hit my limit with kid’s circus shows in hot & humid tents.
— Pete Muller (@festivalfreakAU) March 9, 2013