The magical Fuse Circus survives on koha. "And for those of you are from overseas and don't know what koha means, it's $100," company director Tom Beauchamp told a laughing audience on the Tauranga waterfront yesterday afternoon.
With no funding from city councils, Creative New Zealand or any other "criminal organisations" the buckets were out at the end of the performance but there was no shortage of donations for the acrobats.
"Come on, we risk our lives for your entertainment," Mr Beauchamp said having just dangled from a hoisted picnic table as part of Fuse Circus' Campground Chaos tour.
Kiwi tunes blared as the five stars of the show showed no fear of gravity as they hung from hoops and ropes in front of a quintessential Kiwiana backdrop,
"It's the first time we've been to Tauranga," Mr Beauchamp said after the show.
"I've wanted to come here for a while but it's the first time I've been able to make it happen."
The Wellington-based act have put together a show inspired by a classic Kiwi holiday at a campground. There's flaming sausages, flying rugby balls and tricks on tyre swings during the one-hour production.
Mr Beauchamp was joined on set by Sean Dwen (who's pretty good on a unicycle), Zach Washer (the screaming bogan), Jessica Judge (a dancer who in real life has been working on cruise ships) and Natalie Hona (the daughter of former Herbs vocalist Willie Hona who performs as a tui to one of her dad's songs). Mr Beauchamp said the crowds had been growing since the crew first started performing in Tauranga on Friday and they had been generous - something he was grateful for considering he'd had to take a chance and apply for a loan before going on tour.
"A circus can be quite expensive, especially when it comes to aerials," he said.
The Campground Chaos is here until Saturday with shows at 7pm each day.