I cannot stand this title for its length, but that is also definitely the reason I decided to look at the synopsis and ultimately booked a ticket.
It is hard for me to give this four stars when it is so exceptional and deserves a full five, but the diabolo and jump-rope let Melon down in the end. There were too many drops and trips to forgive. I’d like to see this show again both for how it made me smile and also in the hopes that the feats pulled off might be more precise. I was also sat in front of a scaffold and would like to re-experience Melon’s exceptionalism as it was intended.
This show had me wondering what we are supposed to do if a performer manages to conk himself on the head and knock himself out. Melon was effortlessly professional at both narrowly avoiding and catching whatever he had thrown into the air, but regardless of his obvious experience I was constantly worried about his safety. That is a sign of good adult circus, I suppose.
Fringe seems to bring out the most absurd routines that Perth has to offer. Many performers I see doing things that cater to crowds every other month of the year, but at Fringe they do things that are just weird. We are transported to the fringes of reality. It takes a brave man to be Melon the Human. I can see so many points where people would just hate this show if Melon wasn’t so damn likeable. He’s quirky. He’s strange. He’s alien. He has some weird obsession with Skrillex and we are happy to get on board.
Circus meets social experiment at this event. Such simple ideas that are just totally strange in execution, Melon brings hypotheticals to life – things you think about doing with your performer friends on a drunk night out but would never stake your reputation on doing. Melon just doesn’t seem to care about how silly he is, and that confidence and treating the show as though everything he is doing is normal is what makes it completely phenomenal. Melon is something unnatural and brings you into his vivid fever dream set at the Big Top.
Each act ended with a strong flourish. It wasn’t even circus the whole way through, some of it was just plain absurdist comedy – and I’m unsure if comedy is accurate. The clapping with no end has stuck in my head all week. I want to read into it and find some kind of commentary on life but I have a hunch that there is none, he was trying to push our collective audience boundaries as a hive mind to see how much we could take. He gave our energy back to us in full and we were rewarded for following his confusing lead.
The circus tricks that were presented were very impressive, even the majority of the diabolo and jump-rope. The balancing acts, the contact juggling, the contortion and acrobat sections that managed to really confuse my eyes for a little. Melon the Human is quite the cryptid. It was a complete tasting platter of such a variety of tricks and spectacles. The pièce de résistance though was something that I had never seen before from any street artist nor professional circus performer. He had this metal cube thing, which seemed to be his speciality. It was twice his size and he could balance it anywhere on the body, like magic. He spun through it, around it, did everything you could think of with this cube frame. It was terrifying. It was probably dangerous. It is a wonder that Melon had total control over this monstrosity with each hand placement, each throw, each flourish. I was mystified.
By the end, nobody could leave their seats. We all stared at the usher wondering if he could explain what just happened. “I think it’s over,” was all he could manage to say, just as perplexed as us. Melon personally said farewell to each of us as we left the Big Top, and I truly wish I could’ve stuck around to pick his brain on what inspired all of that. Perhaps next year. And I will be very disappointed if he doesn’t return next year.
The Kleenheat sizzle factor has this show labelled as ‘mild’. I wholeheartedly disagree.
Wishing you all the best,
The Velvet Card Critic