Katie Noonan’s music-cross-circus show Love-Song-Circus has already done the rounds in Adelaide and Brisbane and amidst professional acclaim, each audience had their own particular reaction. Many said that they weren’t sure where to look, it was a multi-level experience, with their gaze shifting from the band, to the girl contorting herself on stage, back to Noonan on piano – and my reaction was no exception.

What first captures your eyes is not Noonan or the musicians that span the back of the stage, but the circus performers from Brisbane’s Circa, decked in colonial-inspired dress with crimson lining. The trio work daringly in sync, Melissa Knowles in particular stealing the spotlight with her fluid lines and remarkable upper body strength, precision and unabashed concentration. Theirs is pure physical interpretation of the music, moving from stage balances to in-air acrobatics as Noonan’s ethereal voice soars through Angel Place Recital Hall. Now and then, Noonan’s signature high notes turn heads to see her tickling the ivories of a grand piano.

The one disappointment I’m feeling as my head swims between circus and pianist is that there are true stories of real life women she’s singing about and yet, for the most part, they are lost in time.

Every now and again, the acrobats exit the stage, and Noonan’s voice drops an octave allowing the lyrics to clear and the stories of love, loss and bravery to be heard, and the audience dips their heads to view the song-list (which comes with each performance) and follow her through the lyrics.

We’ll have to read, and reflect completely post-performance though because the acrobats have returned and are dancing with Noonan’s voice in rapturous harmony.

4/5 stars

Love-Song-Circusplayed at Angel Place Recital Hall on April 2 and 3.

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