A burning desire to perform

Rollicking Entertainment founder and performer Lizzie Tollemache and performer Paul Klaass...
Rollicking Entertainment founder and performer Lizzie Tollemache and performer Paul Klaass rehearse for their Dunedin Arts Festival 2021 show. PHOTO: FLASH GORDON PHOTOGRAPHY
Performer Lizzie Tollemache stumbled into circus performing and became addicted to fire-eating. She tells reporter Molly Houseman what people can expect from her Dunedin Arts Festival show, alongside performer Paul Klaass.

How would you describe your show for the Dunedin Arts Festival?

Free circus, stunts and silliness to thrill and delight you.

How did you and Paul Klaass, whom you are performing with, meet?

At The World Buskers Festival. We kept running into each other at festivals across the country, so David Ladderman and I asked Paul to jump in on some gigs with Rollicking Entertainment. David and I founded Rollicking Entertainment together in 2014, but this particular street show is with Paul Klaass.

You have performed at 50 festivals across nine countries. How has Covid-19 affected your work?

Well, there’s been a distinct lack of international touring lately. Our company certainly lost a lot of work over Covid-19 cancellations, but we are very grateful to have weathered the storm in Aotearoa where the opportunities to connect with audiences came back a lot faster than most places.

What is the greatest challenge in performing this show?

The risk of Dunedin weather getting a bit frisky.

Do you still get worried when performing stunts?

I’m focused and careful, rather than worried.

How did you find out stunts and circus performing was your calling?

I stumbled into it. I learnt fire-eating and stage combat at the last minute to cover for a friend who got a gig opportunity in Italy. Instantly addicted.

Where do you look for artistic inspiration?

Everywhere. Anywhere. You can find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.

  • Rollicking Entertainment will be held outside the Golden Centre on Monday 12, at the Museum Reserve on Tuesday 13, and in Mosgiel on Wednesday 14, at 1pm.


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