acrobat

Founded by Simon Yates and Jo-Ann Lancaster in the mid 90's, acrobat is one of Australia's leading performance ensembles. Creators of a unique and yet typically Australian universe, they create a blend of astonishing theatrical techniques with a highly personal vision of modern society.

Simon and Jo have developed over the years a true ethic and a special way of living, made from intense training and strict organic food - first of all to build up the physical conditions required for supreme physicality but also as a reaction to western consumer society.

That desire to go against the tide of contemporary escalation can be seen in the anti-aesthetic of their productions - raw, without compromise, they are focussed on the personality of the performer and the body at work.  It's the antidote to glamorous physical and visual theatre trends: no pose, no decor, no costumes, going straight to the heart of what is essential.  Typically Australian, yes they are, by the great sense of self derision that emerges from each of their productions, always mixing acrobatic perfection with a ferocious, dry sense of humour.

It's Not For Everyone. World Premiere Season March 18 to 29 2015
(password available on request)
In the (dying) circus tradition, old acrobats would become clowns and continue to work. It’s Not For Everyone commences in this spirit before careering off into wild, lowbrow absurdity. As the clown personas erode, proceedings become progressively more surreal, until they end as humanity began.

Elemental… Dirt.

Devisors and Performers – Jo Lancaster and Simon Yates
Composer and Sound designer – Tim Barrass
Technician – Ryan Taplin

“This is acrobat at it's best, where feats of remarkable, almost impossible physicality combine with minimal dialogue to shine a small beam of truth onto the dark side of the status quo.... The show is both bold and abstract with a collection of powerful messages delivered in this patchwork-style ” Kate Rotherham, RealTime Arts 2015

"It's not hard to follow, yet incredibly hard to predict and acrobat's It's Not For Everyone had me hypnotised and mesmerised with their construct on age, gender and identity.... It's a brave show, brilliantly produced that gives you just enough to make the links and leaves you wanting more" Claire Killeen. The Border Mail 2015

"acrobat have a new show. The company occupy a special if unusual place in the history of circus in Australia. On the one hand, they are greatly admired within the performing arts community for the exceptional rigour of their performances and a spare, barely adorned, even feral aesthetic.  On the other, not many Australian have had the pleasure of being thrilled by them.  Their successful career has largely played out, with exceptionally good reviews, in Europe" Keith Gallasch, RealTime Arts 2015

acrobat Previous Repertoire
Propaganda looked to the future, the one we make each day by our own actions. A couple of muscle-y revolutionaries filled with unwavering ideals, Simon and Jo invited you into a family demo of very simple methods to fight injustice, promote solidarity, and energize class struggle!
Propaganda was a Hot House Theatre Commission.

smaller poorer cheaper was a manifesto for a simpler life, avoiding superfluous elements, making confessions about the most awkward, funny and sometimes painful moments in a performer's life.  Simon, Jo and Mozes, together with composer/musician Tim Barrass explored their lives with a rare sincerity and hilarious boldness.

acrobat has toured for eighteen years throughout Australia and to Germany, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Lithuania, Croatia, Spain, Austria, Switzerland, Singapore, Korea, Brazil, Canada, La Reunion, Quebec and Argentina.

Propaganda is both touching and brilliant.
The Stage, London, May 2010

Everything seems perfect and we're indeed close to a masterpiece.
Le Clou dans La Planche, France, June 2010

A show that is simply amazing. Innovative, daring, funny, virtuoso, inventive, original, surprising ... many positive adjectives come to mind to describe this show. A rare and precious moment.
Le Progres, France, July 2010

acrobat make an original circus show under our eyes, a hybrid of burlesque comedy and physical theatre, sustained by excellent circus feats - highly recommended for audiences of all ages.
Theatre Online, France, 2010

acrobat is an exceptional troupe, layering physical skills with multiple implications playing with our expectations and puncturing our complacency.
Hilary Crampton, The Age, 2006

to make a long story short, smaller, poorer cheaper gives a new dimension to the old quote ‘less is more’. In that case, it’s even better. Essential.
Jeremy Bernede, Le Midi Libre, 2007

Aussies, annoyingly, are often the best at everything, and it would be hard to find artists who are fitter, stronger, or indeed, more crazily daring than these.
Liz Arratoon, The Stage, 2007

Technical Requirements

Contact marguerite (at) mpproductions.com.au for full technical rider