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Summary

5 - 8 Sep 2019

The Cremorne, QPAC

A Metro Arts commission

Presented by Brisbane Festival

This inspiring circus show by Brisbane’s very own Flipside Circus celebrates the memories and moments that make a life. Based on the stories of parents, siblings, and guests of Hummingbird House (Queensland’s only youth hospice), We Live Here explores themes of resilience, chaos, and the beauty of a moment shared.

Suitable for audiences 5+ years

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Reviews

6 Sep 2019

An amazing contemporary circus performance reflecting real life experiences of families at Hummingbird House

We Live Here is a beautiful and sensitive contemporary circus performance reflecting the very real-life experiences of families at Hummingbird House.
The performance is interspersed with moments in life as they are... mealtimes, playing in the yard, off to school, fun in the pool, family time, caring for a sick child, other family members.
These life moments are cleverly brought together by the young performers, music and the narration of life moments as told by family members at Hummingbird House.
Strength, resilience, togetherness,…

We Live Here is a beautiful and sensitive contemporary circus performance reflecting the very real-life experiences of families at Hummingbird House.
The performance is interspersed with moments in life as they are... mealtimes, playing in the yard, off to school, fun in the pool, family time, caring for a sick child, other family members.
These life moments are cleverly brought together by the young performers, music and the narration of life moments as told by family members at Hummingbird House.
Strength, resilience, togetherness, trust, good times and support are expressed as themes that are extremely important for families caring for a child with a life-limiting illness.
The performance is a subtle blend of seriousness and lighthearted fun incorporating contemporary circus, music and narration.
It is wonderfully unique in that the themes are absolutely aligned with the performance itself in that the performers do not simply portray the themes through the choreography but also portray them physically through working together, utilising their strength and resilience, trusting in each other and supporting each other throughout the entire performance.
The five young performers are extremely skilful with their dedication, sensitivity and enjoyment shining throughout the entire performance.
An excellent performance!!!
I congratulate everyone involved in this truly inspiring production and would definitely recommend it to everyone.

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Lynda Devitt
virgin
6 Sep 2019

I shared her pain and I cried as she walked around in circles on the stage.

We Live Here is a circus and gymnastic act performed by a group of young talented performers on a simple stage with little or no props. The use of visuals, music and the voice recordings used as the backdrop to the performance was so effective in portraying that Hummingbird House is a special place to those who need its wonderful services and support. It is a place of respite and joy.

The dancing was beautiful and the performers were so earnest…

We Live Here is a circus and gymnastic act performed by a group of young talented performers on a simple stage with little or no props. The use of visuals, music and the voice recordings used as the backdrop to the performance was so effective in portraying that Hummingbird House is a special place to those who need its wonderful services and support. It is a place of respite and joy.

The dancing was beautiful and the performers were so earnest in their efforts to convey the impact of terminal illness on families and the respite that Hummingbird House provides.

Two scenes stood out in particular, the backyard playground and the synchronised swimming scene were so joyful and showed how simple family fun can be found provided there is a place to step away from the medical care environment.
I am a parent so the story resonated with me on an emotional level.

A mum tries to meet the strict timetable of the needs of a seriously ill child and her mum duties to her other “normal” children as the timetable was read aloud to the to the incessant clock. I shared her pain and I cried as she walked around in circles on the stage.

A dad who requested a date night just to be a couple again and to step away from their medical care duties. Hummingbird House organised a rooftop date and the performers danced and giggled on stage whilst the audience laughed and clapped at the funny scene.

Overall, the performers used their wonderful strength and talent to convey the emotional highs and lows of dealing with terminal illness. I cried, laughed, clapped to the music. I was in awe of how this complex issue was represented in such a beautiful way.

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Marita Hanlon
virgin
6 Sep 2019

FoMO? IMHO DMTS — that is…do you have a Fear of Missing Out? In My Honest Opinion …Don’t Miss This Show.

The Brisbane Festival is teeming with many fantastic options. It can be difficult to choose... so many audience members might first be tempted to skip over a show that is listed under ‘circus’ and ‘family’. Which would be a pity. This is circus that made the opening night audience smile, brought tears to a few eyes, drew many gasps of admiration, and ended with a well-deserved standing ovation.

At times it was difficult to remember that the talented performers and co-creators…

The Brisbane Festival is teeming with many fantastic options. It can be difficult to choose... so many audience members might first be tempted to skip over a show that is listed under ‘circus’ and ‘family’. Which would be a pity. This is circus that made the opening night audience smile, brought tears to a few eyes, drew many gasps of admiration, and ended with a well-deserved standing ovation.

At times it was difficult to remember that the talented performers and co-creators (Indra Garvey, Mia Hughes, Amy Stuart, Skip Walker-Milne and Luke Whitefield) are all under 30 (three are under 18). Age and time are important themes in this show. We Live Here tells some of the stories of the families and guests in the care of the dedicated staff at Hummingbird House (one of only three hospices for children in Australia--and the only facility providing respite and end of life care for Queensland children).

We Live Here is an inspired theatrical event: five Flipside Circus performers and creators, a time-focused video projection and a moving soundtrack that includes the words of Hummingbird House staff and parents (Mik La Vage, Audio and Projection Designer), and the leadership and creativity of Natano Fa’anana and Bridget Boyle (Co-Directors).

The circus work is outstanding: amazing loose rope work, impressive strength and lifts, flexible and flowing acrobatics, and some fabulous hula hooping. But this is also an impressive theatrical work; an experience will stay with you long after the show.

It’s funny (watch out for the family pool scene), and it’s thought-provoking. Your kids will love the acrobatics and fun, and you’ll reflect on an amazing performance that makes you think about what really matters in life (and have a renewed admiration for the work of those in hospice care). Don’t miss out. Go.

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Catherine Lawrence
veteran
6 Sep 2019

Stunningly beautiful, hard-hitting performance not to be missed.

Circus and stories from families of dying children are not a combination you would expect would work, but WOW, just WOW.
This production from Flipside Circus and Metro Arts was breathtakingly beautiful, depicting heartfelt interpretations of experiences of families and staff from Hummingbird House, an amazing youth hospice in Brisbane.
The talent of all performers was incredible but the standout central mother figure Amy Stuart was a literal ‘Tower of Strength’.
I loved how the cast’s bodyweight pressing into her shoulders created such…

Circus and stories from families of dying children are not a combination you would expect would work, but WOW, just WOW.
This production from Flipside Circus and Metro Arts was breathtakingly beautiful, depicting heartfelt interpretations of experiences of families and staff from Hummingbird House, an amazing youth hospice in Brisbane.
The talent of all performers was incredible but the standout central mother figure Amy Stuart was a literal ‘Tower of Strength’.
I loved how the cast’s bodyweight pressing into her shoulders created such an easily understood physical metaphor, so that for just a moment we are reminded of the challenges that these families experience and the intense pressure of having to face the realities of illnesses that are life sentences for their children.
The fun part of circus was also brought into the performance with many funny, clever scenes, from stories that express the families' yearn for the normal, everyday memories like birthday parties, swimming in the pool and a romantic date.

It was a bizarre feeling to be smiling and laughing, but with a huge lump in my throat and holding back tears.
From the very first moment I was mesmerised by this performance.
The music, the lighting, the video projection and words of the staff and parents in the background, perfectly timed to show the parallels of circus and death to be tremendous strength, courage and beautiful moments.
Absolutely loved it and would recommend to all.

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Jodie Charles
veteran
5 Sep 2019

Awe-inspiring and captivating performance which gave me all the feels!

I took my 5-year-old along to see this show, and we both absolutely adored it.
We were both mesmerised by the talent of the performers - their strength and ability.
My son was totally engaged with their circus skills and animated performance.
Meanwhile, I was also moved and brought to tears hearing and appreciating the stories being told about Hummingbird House.
I appreciated the way the performers used the entire stage - always giving us something to look at and enjoy no matter where…

I took my 5-year-old along to see this show, and we both absolutely adored it.
We were both mesmerised by the talent of the performers - their strength and ability.
My son was totally engaged with their circus skills and animated performance.
Meanwhile, I was also moved and brought to tears hearing and appreciating the stories being told about Hummingbird House.
I appreciated the way the performers used the entire stage - always giving us something to look at and enjoy no matter where you’re sitting.
Clearly a show for all ages, I can not think of a single person I know who wouldn’t thoroughly enjoy this show immensely!

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Talia Carbis
virgin
5 Sep 2019

The part where they all climbed and balanced on top of one person stressed me out!

I had no clue what this show was about before I saw it, all I knew was it was an acrobatic show.
I didn't even know the stars were teenagers.
We Live Here is a mix of funny and serious moments and it was a good, balanced mix too.
At 55 minutes, it was the perfect length.
The soundtrack was pretty great too.
My favourite part was a scene between two young acrobats where they depicted going on a date because it was funny and…

I had no clue what this show was about before I saw it, all I knew was it was an acrobatic show.
I didn't even know the stars were teenagers.
We Live Here is a mix of funny and serious moments and it was a good, balanced mix too.
At 55 minutes, it was the perfect length.
The soundtrack was pretty great too.
My favourite part was a scene between two young acrobats where they depicted going on a date because it was funny and the tricks were impressive.
I didn't like the part where they all climbed and balanced on top of one person because it stressed me out!
All round, it was a great show, I really enjoyed it and I definitely recommend to anyone (mostly about the age of about 7 or older who won't talk through the show and annoy the audience).

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Abby Whitby (age 13)
veteran
5 Sep 2019

An important message conveyed using humour, physical theatre and synchronised audio visual effects.

The concept of time at Hummingbird House was immediately apparent from the opening scene. Synchronisation of facial expressions, circus acrobatics and simple 'chair' set changes was crucial to the success of the performance - it was impeccable.

Authentic voice recordings provided a glimpse of life in a youth hospice, where chaos presents daily challenges. Having all five members of Flipside Circus on stage for the majority of time offered plenty of action, laced with humour, to depict themes of resilience and…

The concept of time at Hummingbird House was immediately apparent from the opening scene. Synchronisation of facial expressions, circus acrobatics and simple 'chair' set changes was crucial to the success of the performance - it was impeccable.

Authentic voice recordings provided a glimpse of life in a youth hospice, where chaos presents daily challenges. Having all five members of Flipside Circus on stage for the majority of time offered plenty of action, laced with humour, to depict themes of resilience and empathy.

The flip of victory in the final act reinforced a message of confidence ... to not be afraid. I thoroughly enjoyed We Live Here and would recommend it to an audience of any age.

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Gabe Baker
veteran
5 Sep 2019

Highlights the cheer that can be found in an ostensibly sad place.

Only three children’s hospices exist in Australia. Only one production in the Brisbane Festival children’s program is performed by children. And that is where the potency of We Live Here lies. An ensemble of five young people narrate the experiences of children with life-limiting conditions; an ensemble of young people advocate for those who have no time to sing their own praises.

It is believed that children and young people’s work serves merely as a stepping stone into more serious theatre.…

Only three children’s hospices exist in Australia. Only one production in the Brisbane Festival children’s program is performed by children. And that is where the potency of We Live Here lies. An ensemble of five young people narrate the experiences of children with life-limiting conditions; an ensemble of young people advocate for those who have no time to sing their own praises.

It is believed that children and young people’s work serves merely as a stepping stone into more serious theatre. This Flipside Circus and Hummingbird House collaboration surely subverts this ideology. Addressing themes of resilience and life in the face of death, the young ensemble is given agency to tell the story they know intimately, the story of ‘just being a kid’.

And it is arresting to watch. Luke Whitefield’s palpable delight in the synchronised swimming sequence highlights the cheer that can be found in an ostensibly sad place. And while they do not have the finesse of more seasoned performers, the cast do possess the fresh authenticity that is lost in others with greater experience.

Circus can often feel like a catalogue of impressive skills. We Live Here sometimes feels like this. However, what sets the performance apart is the accompanying verbatim stories the choreography is performed to. Each trick is not merely an eisteddfod performance of showy talent, but a physical metaphor for the accompanying text. This is most memorably demonstrated by Amy Stuart on the clock-face treadmill of parental tasks. As each task is listed, members of the ensemble throw themselves toward Stuart. By the end of the sequence she stands centre stage, exhausted.

It is through the intensity of these physical tasks that we are reminded of the challenges others experience. It is through the intensity of these physical tasks that we understand their vigour and strength. It is through circus that we understand the audacious act of living.

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Samara Sutton-Baker
virgin
5 Sep 2019

Circus, theatre, heartache, hope and a lesson in life.

It’s not fair to call We Live Here a circus show and it’s more than theatre; its visuals are important and its music is integral but it’s not quite right to call it pure entertainment, because it’s all of those things but it’s also a lesson in life.

Presenting stories of Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only youth hospice, Flipside Circus use imagery, a stunning musical soundtrack, audio clips of guests and staff of the house and five incredibly talented circus performers to…

It’s not fair to call We Live Here a circus show and it’s more than theatre; its visuals are important and its music is integral but it’s not quite right to call it pure entertainment, because it’s all of those things but it’s also a lesson in life.

Presenting stories of Hummingbird House, Queensland’s only youth hospice, Flipside Circus use imagery, a stunning musical soundtrack, audio clips of guests and staff of the house and five incredibly talented circus performers to take their audience through everything that Hummingbird House is; a home away from home for families and children faced with the unthinkable and a place to create sweet memories at a time when they are needed most.

The performers' dedication to their art is unmistakable; Amy Stuart offers a motherly role, holding the cast together often, figuratively and literally; Mia Hughes and Indra Garvey are phenomenal with their ability to bend, twist and jump in a way that takes the audience through an emotional journey. Luke Whitefield has a spark and cheek that evokes a sense of the resilience of the children Hummingbird House exists for and Skip Walker-Milne takes the show to breathtaking heights which highlight the fragility of our existence. You can’t help but feel inspired by the choreography and the cast’s skill with their movements, representing the stories of heartache and hope of the families staying at the hospice.

We Live Here is more than a physical theatre performance and much more than just a show. It is inspiring but also grounding; a beautiful piece of thought-provoking art which reminds us that while the human body has incredible physical strength, the stories of Hummingbird House prove our greatest strengths lie not in physicality; but in mind, spirit and heart.

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Jo Michelmore
veteran
5 Sep 2019

A bittersweet, but ultimately hopeful, look at a difficult and painful topic.

Commissioned by Metro Arts in 2018, We Live Here is a collaboration between the Brisbane-based youth arts company Flipside Circus and the children’s hospice Hummingbird House.

Hummingbird House, located in Chermside, serves as a medically-supported home away from home for families living with children or teenagers with a life-limiting condition.

It is 1 of only 3 of its kind in Australia and is the only facility in Queensland that provides respite and end-of-life care for children.

We Live Here is a show that…

Commissioned by Metro Arts in 2018, We Live Here is a collaboration between the Brisbane-based youth arts company Flipside Circus and the children’s hospice Hummingbird House.

Hummingbird House, located in Chermside, serves as a medically-supported home away from home for families living with children or teenagers with a life-limiting condition.

It is 1 of only 3 of its kind in Australia and is the only facility in Queensland that provides respite and end-of-life care for children.

We Live Here is a show that explores the joys and sorrows of life and death – of living and dying. Using various forms of circus, verbatim style narration, visual projection and the real-life lived experiences of those working and living at Hummingbird House, We Live Here presents a visually rich and emotionally uplifting tone poem that is more joyful than sombre. The show is made up of various acts of physical and technical circus arts: tumbling, vaulting, balancing, contortion, all structured and layer around various small moments and everyday scenes depicting family life and struggle.

While the show does have stories and moments that hit hard and explore the bittersweet reality of the work that Hummingbird House does, these moments of sadness and heaviness are all counter-weighted by moments of laughter and vibrant energy. But above all else, the various high and low moments are all presented with an honesty and rigour that everything truly feels as if it has been wholly constructed from a place of genuine compassion and empathy.

Audiences don’t leave We Live Here with a sense of harrowing loss or emotionally charged sympathetic pain, instead the show leaves an audience feeling uplifted and hopeful.

We Live Here ultimately left me with both an appreciation for organisations like Hummingbird House, and the tireless and selfless work they do, but it also left me with an appreciation for the power that theatre has to provide a voice and a platform to share those stories.

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Alex Macdonald
veteran
5 Sep 2019

An unlikely combination of upbeat youth circus with the grim reality of children’s hospice care – but it works!

We Live Here features young performers, from a youth circus company, telling a story about children but this is not a show for kids.
Well, not a show JUST for kids.

This beautifully executed work holds different appeal to all ages: from kids marvelling at what someone their own age can do to parents empathising with the show’s subjects.
It seems an unlikely combination – the frivolity of youth circus overlaid with grim audio featuring the staff and parents of patients at children’s…

We Live Here features young performers, from a youth circus company, telling a story about children but this is not a show for kids.
Well, not a show JUST for kids.

This beautifully executed work holds different appeal to all ages: from kids marvelling at what someone their own age can do to parents empathising with the show’s subjects.
It seems an unlikely combination – the frivolity of youth circus overlaid with grim audio featuring the staff and parents of patients at children’s hospice Hummingbird House.
On the sparsely set stage, however, a revelatory hour unfolds.

We Live Here bounces between light and shade, artistry and entertainment, poignancy and comedy.
It was impossible not to laugh at a light-hearted – but impeccably choreographed – synchronised swimming spoof; only to reel from the emotional punch of a mother’s precarious balancing act brought to life by the five talented young acrobats on stage.

The beauty of QPAC’s compact Cremorne Theatre is how close the audience sits to the stage.
In this instance, it meant the skill and professionalism of the young troupe was on full display.
From my front row seat, I could hear their ragged breathing as the five stars exerted themselves and see the strain and tremble in their muscles as they balanced, lifted, held and wrapped around each other.

We Live Here is an entertaining and affirming show suitable for adults and children, featuring a cast of genuinely talented and practised acrobats who deliver a gasp-inducing performance with a professionalism that belies their young years.

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Belinda Seeney
veteran
5 Sep 2019

The daily triumphs and challenges of the children, staff and parents of Hummingbird House.

There were lovely moments of light and dark throughout the entire performance.
The theme of strength and perseverance [both physical and mental] was prominent throughout.
The five artists interchanged characters and scenes beautifully – there were no harsh transitions.
The set design was simple yet effective.
The use of the soundscape was absolutely stunning – especially the audio of parents and staff of Hummingbird House.
The music choices allowed the audience to dance and feel the emotions all at once!
It’s a wonderful show.

Julie Layt
veteran
5 Sep 2019

We Live Here has a physicality that feels equal parts playful and perilous.

It’s difficult to review a show like ‘We Live Here’ dispassionately. The hour long show from Flipside Circus is based around the stories and experiences of families and guests of Hummingbird House - QLD’s only kid’s hospice. Guests of Hummingbird House are kids with ‘life-limiting conditions’, meaning they’re either terminal or not expected to live past childhood, and their families.

Heavy stuff.

And to be completely honest, my experience with circus is not exactly what I’d call vast. Nonetheless, I was mightily…

It’s difficult to review a show like ‘We Live Here’ dispassionately. The hour long show from Flipside Circus is based around the stories and experiences of families and guests of Hummingbird House - QLD’s only kid’s hospice. Guests of Hummingbird House are kids with ‘life-limiting conditions’, meaning they’re either terminal or not expected to live past childhood, and their families.

Heavy stuff.

And to be completely honest, my experience with circus is not exactly what I’d call vast. Nonetheless, I was mightily impressed by this cast of five young acrobats and their tackling of a very tough subject.

The show doesn’t shy from its topic, and the idea of time looms in the background throughout. However, the immensely likeable performers imbue the topic with a levity that is bang on for tone. It’s not flippant, but it’s not gloomy. There are moments of melancholy, aided by a fabulously curated soundtrack, but they’re balanced perfectly with what are really the mission of a place like Hummingbird House - moments of life, lightness and humour - which give both dignity and joy to this most difficult of subjects.

The good Lord saw fit to give me hamstrings tighter than a marching snare, so anyone able to touch their toes without bending their knees or tearing a hammy has my respect. 'We Live Here’ has a physicality that feels equal parts playful and perilous. The strength anchor of the young troupe is particularly impressive and, while not every move was nailed with the precision of a Romanian gymnast, it’s certainly no distraction from what is honestly a fantastic and worthwhile show.

I’ll leave the final verdict to the most circus-qualified person I know - my 11 year-old niece who accompanied me to the show - “It’s REALLY good!”

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Michael Mann
virgin
5 Sep 2019

A synergy of acrobatic movement, music and narration portraying the ups and downs of life in Hummingbird House.

The irony of the title “We Live Here” quickly becomes evident as the stories of the occupants of Hummingbird House are played out by this talented troupe of young performers from the Flipside Circus.

As they tumble and spin around the stage in a relentless series of complex, daring manoeuvres, mirroring the complexity of daily life in the House, their support of one another develops as the clear common theme.

Despite the overarching sadness of the narrative, snippets of which are heard…

The irony of the title “We Live Here” quickly becomes evident as the stories of the occupants of Hummingbird House are played out by this talented troupe of young performers from the Flipside Circus.

As they tumble and spin around the stage in a relentless series of complex, daring manoeuvres, mirroring the complexity of daily life in the House, their support of one another develops as the clear common theme.

Despite the overarching sadness of the narrative, snippets of which are heard between a superb and poignant selection of music, there are funny moments as the highs and lows are played out and the performers literally shoulder a great burden.

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Barbara Levien
virgin
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