Image: Daniel Rabin

One Fell Swoop Circus

In Common

One Fell Swoop Circus is a contemporary circus company based in Melbourne. We create large scale performance pieces that sit at the intersection of circus and sculpture. Our creative practice uncovers the intrinsic metaphor within circus to create stark yet beautiful audience experiences. The company combines ambitious concepts with visceral physicality, bringing audiences the invigorating mix of joy and risk inherent to group acrobatics.

One Fell Swoop creates work that combines a high level of circus skill with rich dramatic perspectives, working across traditional theatre shows and large-scale outdoor circus installation works.

Recent performance highlights include Xintiandi Festival in Shanghai, IPAY in Philadelphia, festivals in New Zealand and France, as well as regional touring throughout Australia.

One Fell Swoop Circus is founded and directed by Charice Rust and Jonathan Morgan.


In Common combines circus and sculpture to explore the structures we build as a community to support each other. The 60-minute work consists of eight acrobats building a tensegrity rigging structure in a public space and then enlivening it with circus.

This project extends our practice of exploring circus as it relates to life. We grapple with the idea of the social safety net: the network of systems, formal and informal, created by society to support the lives of its people.

This community safety net is not something tangible or visible. It is built by belief in shared responsibility for looking after each other and strengthened by the commitment that we collectively put into it. This same principle applies to group acrobatics.

By bringing out these concepts inherent to the acrobatics and echoed in the sculptural structure in which the piece takes place, we guide audiences through a visceral understanding of the care we owe others in our community. More than the ‘display of skill’ usually associated with circus, audiences will experience the thrill of throwing yourself into someone else’s arms and the weight of bearing them.

In Common is the winner of the Best Circus Award at the Melbourne Fringe Festival 2023.

“Excellent outdoor performance on a unique apparatus that combines engineering problems with circus research.” – Melbourne Fringe Circus Judge

Mesmerising show – skilled, artistic and stunning demonstration of how we can construct worlds that support and showcase human interdependence.” – Alison, Melbourne Fringe audience