Trash trio to make a splash
Award-winning kids’ entertainers are diving into a world premiere at the Fringe, writes
THE crash-prone troupe behind Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe hit Trash Test Dummies is aiming to make an even bigger splash this year when it returns with a brand new, aquaticthemed production.
Circus comedians Jamie Bretman, Simon Wright and Jack Coleman – who won the awards for best children’s presentation at the Adelaide Fringe in 2015 and 2016 – are trading in their trademark wheelie bin for swimsuits, flippers and pool noodles in Splash Test Dummies.
Bretman says an offhand joke about a swimming pool sparked the idea for the trio’s show, which takes all the skills, stunts and comedy from Trash Test Dummies and turns them into something bigger, better – and wetter.
“We’re stepping up the whole production. We’ve enlisted a sound designer, lighting designer and working with stronger direction. Previously we did this all ourselves,” he says.
Cabaret award-winner and clowning masterclass teacher Claire Bartholomew, who has worked as a hospital Clown Doctor and is a national training adviser for The Humour Foundation, was brought in to direct the new show.
“We’ve enlisted Claire to help strengthen our storytelling,” Bretman says.
“Where Trash Test Dummies was quite absurd and nonlinear, Splash Test Dummies follows a stronger narrative and the audience really goes on an aquatic adventure with us, so Claire’s extensive theatre experience is invaluable.”
Armed with everything from a giant beach ball to water pistols and a huge bubble machine, the Dummies will transform the Corona venue at the Garden of Unearthly Delights into a volleyball court, beach, bathtub and an underwater paradise.
Splash Test Dummies also features new routines with unicycles, magic tricks and inspiring puppetry.
“We blur the lines between the impossible and possible. If we can get even some of our audience members to run with the idea that anything is possible, we have achieved what we set out to do,” Bretman says.
With his background as a youth worker, Bretman is also passionate about using circus to improve the lives of young people across the country, by encouraging imagination expansion through play.
“We don’t talk down to kids. I’m a firm believer in this – It’s important to us to make the work really good,’’ he says.
“We are constantly improving the show and giving kids permission to be involved (or not), but to trust us. It’s a really safe space and it’s really interactive.” SEE: SPLASH TEST DUMMIES, CORONA THEATRE, GARDEN OF UNEARTHLY DELIGHTS, FEBRUARY 16 - MARCH 18. TICKETS: FRINGETIX
IN THE SWIM: Jack Coleman, Simon Wright and Jamie Bretman are splash-testing at the Adelaide Fringe.