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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | May 20, 2022

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Kaleidoscope: A Circus with a Difference

Kaleidoscope: A Circus with a Difference

| On 08, Apr 2016

Kaleidoscope is a joyous, poetic circus experience that explores the great beauty found in the smallest things.

The show focuses on Ethan Wharton-Langridge, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome at four years of age. Kaleidoscope is not your typical circus – it is one that will challenge you to see the world in colour instead of in black and white.

Ethan perceives the world differently from those around him. He understands the world through touch; senseing his surroundings with the pads of his fingers or the tips of his toes and he, unwittingly, invited his mother to view his world with him. Johanna Wharton, Ethan’s mother, described stepping into Ethan’s world as ‘the joy of walking through shafts of colour and light; a dazzling Kaleidoscope’. She wrote a book about her experiences with Ethan that inspired the creation of the show.

The show opens with Ethan describing his syndrome and how he views it. The maturity coming from such a young boy was absolutely captivating – he spoke with confidence and had an enduring sharpness about him. As the performers spun, twirled and flipped, I couldn’t help but wonder, “is this how Ethan feels?”. The unpredictability of it had the audience in awe and the dedication from all the young performers was undeniable.


What makes Kaleidoscope so special is that the audience is able to see Ethan express himself through the physical form of circus. Ethan is accompanied on-stage by five young performers who shadow Ethan throughout the show and help create the magical world of circus arts. Throughout the 60 minute performance, the audience is shown a wide range of impressive circus tricks. However, as the music softens and the tricks wind down, we are left staring at Ethan and how he bravely tackles the world around him.

Kaleidoscope is an important show for all ages to see as it allows the audience to gain a deeper understanding into what exactly Asperger Syndrome is. Ethan doesn’t just tell the audience how he feels, he shows them. He challenges you to see the world through his eyes and the beauty that can be found in it.

Kaleidoscope is the collaboration of a unique boy, an inspiring story and the lyrical world of circus arts. Flipside Circus and Company2 have created a perfect show that the whole family can enjoy. Kaleidoscope gives an important young boy the chance to have a voice and help to influence the way society views Asperger Syndrome. From the overwhelmingly positive response from the audience, there is no denying that Ethan’s story is a powerful one.


What  Kaleidoscope

Where Judith Wright Centre

When  6-9 April, 2016

How Much $18 –$29

For more details or your ticket, head to the Judith Wright Centre website here.

Image Credit: Flipside Circus