FROM LITTLE THINGS
It was never meant to last.
In 1979, deemed the International Year of the Child, ‘new circus’ was in the air, with the contemporary company Circus Oz formed only a year earlier. In Albury, the local and enterprising Murray River Performing Group (MRPG) initiated a children’s holiday program along with a few intrepid circus artists. Together they trained more than 80 school children from the region over a six-week period.
A show was developed and performed in a circus big top erected in Hovell Tree Park. Thanks to the ambitious level of circus skills training, the MRPG’s entrepreneurial chutzpah and the exuberant energy of the kids, the show, called The Flying Fruit Fly Circus, was an extraordinary success.
The show’s tongue-in-cheek title was a light-hearted nod to a quarantine station on the Causeway, where people crossing the state border surrendered any fruit they were carrying to help stop the spread of the damaging fruit fly. It caught on and evolved into the now famous and much loved name of our company.
An unstoppable momentum had been generated. A group of young artists called Sidewalk Circus was an early offshoot and performed at the Sydney Festival. The following year a new Fruit Fly show was produced and played to sell-out performances in Albury-Wodonga, on regional tour and eventually overseas in Canada at the Vancouver Children’s Festival, the first of many overseas engagements from Glasgow to Broadway.
China’s Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe & Moscow Circus
Landmark projects with China’s Nanjing Acrobatic Troupe and Moscow Circus followed, establishing our company as a major influence in contemporary circus.
We have continued to perform around the world, most recently in Turkey and Cambodia, and we tour regularly in Australia engaging a whole new generation with the magic of circus.
We are also proud to be circus-in-residence at both the Sydney Opera House and The Cube Wodonga.
Today, our full-time program is one of the best in the world and students choose to continue their training in renowned centres of excellence like the National Institute of Circus Arts in Melbourne or École Nationale de Cirque in Montreal, or transition straight into the industry.
In 2019 we will celebrate 40 years of excellence!
Although the name might remain a tongue twister, the Flying Fruit Fly Circus has risen to become Australia’s premier youth performing arts organisation; we are not so much growing up as coming of age.
At our heart, we are still all about ordinary kids doing extraordinary things.