08 April, 2012

Crowd Pleaser :: Suzy Leigh

Photos by Megan Kinninment

Byron Bay knows how to throw a party, and this Easter has been no exception. While the Blues Festival drew the majority of the crowd to its new location at Tyagarah (about 10 minutes north of Byron Bay), in town there has been plenty of local entertainment to keep visitors happy. The little girls and I ventured into town on Good Friday to catch an outdoor show a Byron Bay’s Main Beach by Suzy Leigh, one of our region's most popular comedians and circus performers.

Suzy's shows are a combination of hilarity and circus expertise and often pretty raunchy (her Nurse Perverse routine involving multiple hoola hoops and 'naughty' nurse jokes is one of my favourites), but this weekend she’s kept the show 100% family-friendly and included the kids in the act with hula-hoop and juggling demos, allowing them free access to circus skills expertise you would usually have to pay for a one of Suzy's classes at Spaghetti Circus in Mullumbimby.

Suzy taught herself to juggle when she was a child, but it wasn’t until she was 24 that she enrolled in circus training and started a career that has seen her perform at major festivals in Australia and across Europe including Maleny, Woodford, Glastonbury and Edinburgh. 

“There were no circus schools when I was growing up,” Suzy told The Byron Life.
“But now you don’t have to run away any more to join the circus.”
Teaching circus skills to children is one of Suzy’s passions: “It develops their confidence and it’s so exciting when they realise they can learn something that seemed impossible.”

After 20 years as a performer, Suzy still gets a buzz when she hears “the roar of the crowd”.
“Even better when you hear paper money being dropped in the hat,” she joked.
“You have to do what you love in life and I just love comedy and bringing people together for a laugh.”
Her dream is to see Byron Bay establish a permanent outdoor performance space in town and she would love to see more family-oriented street performance festivals to cater for both local and visiting families.
I know two little girls who would be keen for that Suzy!

This photo contributed

If you’re in town this weekend, I highly recommend checking out Suzy’s Circus Jukebox show – it kicks off at Apex Park, Main Beach from 5pm. And for locals: Suzy’s started a new hoola hoop troupe at Mullumbimby on Friday mornings – all levels welcome. Contact Suzy through Spaghetti Circus or you can email her directly: suzyleigh@live.com

Thanks for the show and chat Suzy.

I hope everyone is having a great Easter.



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