Circa Cairns Son

Circa and Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) will present a double bill featuring the mainstage debut of Circa Cairns in Son and the family hit from Circa Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus in the Playhouse from 22 to 26 November 2023.

Formed in 2022, Circa Cairns is a First Nations-led contemporary circus ensemble helmed by Artistic Director Harley Mann (Wakka Wakka), whose story is imbued in Son.

Evenings in the Playhouse will host the world premiere season, co-directed by Mann and Alexander Berlage, which explores Mann’s experience being raised by a single mother and how it informed his masculinity.

Four male First Nations acrobats will juxtapose striking acrobatics and tempered cultural dance to challenge the Western model of family to celebrate culture and queerness.

Elevated by Kardajala Kirridarra from Central Northern Territory singing the new score live, the First Nations female quartet’s onstage presence will serve as a powerful reminder of the connection between Aboriginal women and Country and the importance of women as creators.

Circa Cairns Artistic Director Harley Mann said he wanted to make a show that honoured alternative masculinities.

“I’ve never thought of myself as being masculine but I also don’t think I’m not. And this work is about where we inherit masculinity from. How far does the apple fall from the tree?,” Mr Mann said.

Running parallel in the Playhouse during the day is Circa’s raucous Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus, mashing the thrill of circus with the mayhem of Mozart and returning to QPAC after a sell-out season in 2020.

Designed to amaze audiences from the age of three and upwards, the acclaimed and illuminating show reinvents the composer’s music and features Circa’s dexterous daredevil artists and a live accordionist.

Circa Artistic Director Yaron Lifschitz said in each of the Company’s seasons at QPAC, Circa aimed to bring something new, fresh or unexpected.

“Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus offers a world of circus and music to our youngest audiences (and their families) while Son is a bold, dramatic creation out of Circa Cairns; a fresh story from the world’s oldest living culture,” Mr Lifschitz said.

QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the double bill highlighted Circa’s standing as a circus powerhouse with a dedication to growing its audience.

“We are so proud to support this program which showcases Circa’s creative leadership. The Company creates everything from stunning explorations of humanity to knee-slapping family fun, all while nurturing new work and talent and shepherding deeply important stories and culture,” Mr Kotzas said.

“It is always a privilege to see Circa challenge our understanding of what circus is in QPAC’s theatres.”

Tickets to both shows are on sale now at or 136 246.

Circa Cairns is a Circa initiative supported by the Queensland Government and the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation. Circa Cairns is supported in 2022 by the Restart Investment to Sustain and Expand (RISE) fund – an Australian Government initiative.

Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus is supported by QPAC Partner YFG Shopping Centres.

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