Circus Oz

Permanent URI for this collection

Founded in 1978, Circus Oz began as an amalgamation of the Australian Performing Group's Soapbox Circus and the Adelaide-based New Ensemble Circus. The company established a reputation for its knockabout physicality, overt treatment of political issues and boisterous comic style. Today the company can boast an unrivalled and ongoing commitment to national and international touring and to the promotion of diversity and gender equality.

The company’s own archives are extensive. Their collection includes over 1000 videos, documenting a performance history stretching back to 1978. The original videos are stored on a range of media reflecting the technology of the day, from U-matic tapes to external hard drives. The company has invested significantly in safeguarding these assets, and the entire collection has now been digitised, with preservation copies placed into a research repository.

The Circus Oz Living Archive is a digital “living” archive that was developed between 2010 and 2014 by an RMIT-led team with the assistance of an Australian Research Council (ARC) Industry Linkage grant. Its aim was to develop an innovative online archive to facilitate access to these digitised assets. The site provided a shared space for current and former Circus Oz members, fans, researchers and the general public to connect and collaborate on the organisation and description of Circus Oz videos.

In 2021, The Circus Oz Living Archive was moved offline. The University of M