Posted by Meredith Benke Bell
In August 2017, I was fortunate enough to visit Broome for a period of 6 weeks to perform in Theatre Kimberley’s ‘Bust Out Cabaret’ show and be involved in their Sandfly Circus production of ‘Come Fly with Us’. Arriving in Broome I was welcomed with open arms by the kids, parents, locals, and the staff I would be working alongside at Theatre Kimberley.
Performing in ‘Bust Out’ was such a fantastic experience. It was really enjoyable performing to such responsive audiences who valued and appreciated circus and the performing arts. The Cabaret style show gave me the chance to explore the cheeky and fun side of circus and a great opportunity to showcase my speciality act, Roue Cyr.
Being involved in the Sandfly Circus show was super unique. The students were so excited and like sponges, they were so eager to learn. And full of beans and ready to learn new skills to add to their abilities. The process of coaching and rehearsing with these students, and then contributing towards the creation of the show, was challenging but such a worthwhile and valuable experience.
I was also lucky to be in Broome during such a festive season when there was so much happening. I really enjoyed going to the local rodeo and Australia’s most famous cultural festival ‘Shinju Matsuri’ (festival of the pearl). And as well as this was able to see Missy Higgins live in concert. Apart from these events, it was just magical to be able to spend time in Broome. The weather was fantastic, and so was visiting the gorgeous beaches and bushlands and above everything else watching the phenomenal beach sunsets Broome has to offer.
One of the great unexpected experiences was visiting Mt Barnett, a 7 hour drive along the Gibb River Road, and working at the local Wananami Remote Community School. There I was able to meet and teach the local kids from the indigenous community circus. This was such a unique experience for me as a circus coach. Also, while there I had the opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the area including the spectacular gorges.
My time in Broome was a such wonderful and truly memorable experience. It also really helped me grow as a performer and circus trainer, something I really value.
Thank you Theatre Kimberley and thank you Broome!