The Flaming Arrow Collective is a group of artists dedicated to the obscure, obtuse, and obscene – and they perfectly demonstrate this dedication in their 2020 Fringe show, The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus. Don’t be fooled by the name though, because this Fringe show is as far as you can get from perfectly normal and family friendly!
The show features Adelaide’s own Murderclown the Sane, who has teamed up with his ‘friend’ Deadward to perform a brilliant act of fire, magic, comedy, and lots of adult themes in their twisted circus show that is definitely not for the whole family. Murderclown the Sane terrifies the audience with his white painted face and eerie smile. Deadward looks fabulous in his feathered coat and gothic eyeliner. The characters are brought to life with hilarious accents and showy gestures, and the audience can’t help but laugh as their personalities clash constantly during the performance.
The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus has lots of fun children’s show activities performed for an adult audience. Story time with Murderclown the Sane quickly turns into an anecdote about why Deadward hates, well, everything. The ‘Play School’ reminiscent build-along segment shows us how to build our very own city, brothel and all, and make up ‘interesting’ stories for the people who live there.
A lot of the show is blatantly inappropriate and hilarious jokes, but there are also a few acts of real, incredible magic. Murderclown the Sane performs a jaw-dropping fire display, where he wows the audience as he performs real life firebending and fire breathing stunts. This raw talent is one of the most incredible parts of the show, and you can’t help staring with awe at this demonstration of such an amazing skill.
One of the best things about the performance is the simple, quirky acts of magic that are snuck into the show. If you aren’t paying attention, you might miss Murderclown the Sane vanishing his bottle of wine after taking a chug! These little actions maintain the circus feeling of the performance and keep the audience thoroughly engaged.
The tiny set is a cluttered mess, but this perfectly symbolises the mind of Muderclown the Sane. The performers make do with the small space and use this intimate set up to their advantage by interacting with their audience. All the props have a purpose and the toys and materials in the background are similar to what you would see in a kid’s television program, which really brings the audience into the idea that they are seeing an extremely messed up kid’s show!
The audience had an amazing time throughout the performance, laughing along and gasping at all the inappropriate humour. People were happy to be picked out of the crowd and participated in the skits with obvious enthusiasm. The way that Murderclown the Sane and Deadward manage to interact with their audience without breaking character or losing momentum is incredibly impressive, and made everybody keen to participate.
The Perfectly Normal Family Friendly Circus is the perfect show to go see with your friends after a few drinks so you can really enjoy the blunt humour and inappropriate anecdotes. This show is sure to have you laughing, but prepare your ears for lots of swears and your eyes for lots of adult content!
Words by Elisabeth Marie