Review: The Mirror

Cool Sh*t, Play, Sydney / 20 February 2023

With circus acrobatics, stunts, and cabaret musical performance, The Mirror is a fun show of fearless movements that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Co-commissioned by the Sydney Opera House and Chamäleon Theatre Berlin, the show premiered in Berlin last year and is now open showing at the Sydney Opera House. Created by Australian contemporary circus company Gravity & Other Myths (GOM), the high-energy show is thoroughly entertaining however it also shares a deeper message about the discovery of self. Using selfie sticks and creative camera angles, the show challenges the audience to consider how the exterior world and media play into how we see ourselves. 

The Mirror opens with host, award-winning composer, and musician Ekrem Eli Phoenix, dressed only in white briefs and a robe, changing from song to song, trying to find a tune on a retro-looking portal stereo. Finally settling on Summertime, he croons and the show is on! Phoenix brings a sense of playfulness and cheek to the spectacle, expertly synthesizing recognisable pop-hits and golden oldies. 

Costume and stage design are simple but effective. Performers switch from basic beige underwear to sexy fluorescent lingerie; the latter exposing their true selves. A black curtain and dramatic LED lighting are used to build suspense and enhance the drama. 

The troupe have performed with Cirque du Soleil and other international circus troupes. This is a next-level circus made to seem effortless. Whilst the troupe of nine acrobats is undeniably talented, their expert moves come from years of rigorous dedicated training. Jascha Boyce (performer, creative producer, and co-founder of GOM) started circus training at the age of four and explains every move is calculated and precise. 

Circus performers come in all sizes and shapes and this is reflected in the casting of The Mirror – a show with strong body positivity, diversity and gender neutrality messaging. There are three main roles for circus performers – base, middle or flyer. Every acrobat and every performer plays a different and integral role. Ones body shape and ability determines their role within the troupe. Gender does not. There are male and female base performers in The Mirror, each demonstrating incredible strength required to physically hold and support a human tower of one, two, three people, standing on their shoulders. 

The Mirror will have you in awe of the potential of the human body. Acrobat Dylan Phillips (17 years, the youngest performer in the troupe) is unbelievable as he jumps onto shoulders, moving light as a feather, then bending forward and backward as if his limbs and trunk were just elastic bands. At times he seems to fly through the air, defying gravity with his feet barely touching the ground before he somersaults into another mind-bending position. 

Equally impressive is watching Megan Giesbrecht (a competitive acrobatic gymnast since age three) be turned into a human doll. She’s slowly lifted into the air, turned on her side and yet every limb and body part remains ramrod straight. The strength and body control of these performers is almost inconceivable. 

There aren’t many shows that encourage a collective response but The Mirror has the audience gasping, laughing, and standing together with rapturous applause for the wonders enjoyed. 

70 minutes whiz by as the audience is enthralled by the dexterity of the performers. Don’t miss this extraordinary show.

The Mirror will play at the Drama Theatre in Sydney Opera House until 5 March. 

Recommended for ages 15+. Tickets start from $59 (plus the booking fee). For purchase visit: