The Defiant

Producer: Highwire Entertainment
Writer: Elena Kirschbaum & The Defiant Ensemble
Directed By: Elena Kirschbaum

An explosive post-apocalyptic circus show with live rock music


The Defiant is an explosion of acrobatic feats and live music. Bringing together world class athletes and acrobats, presenting circus that is electrifying and exciting, and the winner of the award for Best Circus in 2022. In a post-apocalyptic setting, The Defiant is a celebration of rebellion and fierceness, camaraderie and joy, exploring what it means to be strong through adversity in this bold contemporary circus show with a live rock soundtrack.

★★★★★ “The Defiant is a sensational show and a must-watch” – The University of Adelaide

★★★★★ “Wow. What more can we say about this breathtaking, amazing, passionate and inspiring performance from an incredibly talented crew” – Kids in Adelaide

★★★★½ “The Defiant feels fresh and authentic ­– a polished, beautiful and engaging show.” – InDaily

Short Reviews

Wow! What a show this was! You will not want to miss this daring display of acrobatics and live music! (5 stars)
Fresh 92.7
‘The Defiant’ flips traditional ideals of femininity on their head and smashes gender stereotypes in an exciting fusion of circus, physical theatre and live rock concert.
We genuinely cannot recommend this enough for your teens, because quite frankly, they are the hardest audience in the world to please so when you find something they love, you need to share!
Kids In Adelaide


Additional Videos

Technical Information

Touring Party: 9
Bump-in Time: 9-11 hrs
Bump-out Time: 1-2 (dependant on rigging) hrs
Interval: Optional


  • Mixing desk;
  • FOH PA system + amps suitable for the space;
  • Laptop for QLab playback (please advise if not available);
  • Side fill foldback speakers for circus performers adequate to the space

For Musician:

  • Standard drum mic kit
  • 1 x kick
  • 1 x snare
  • 1 x hi-hat
  • 2 x toms
  • 2 x overheads
  • Sufficient mix stands / XLR’s
  • 5 x DI’s
  • 3 for sample pad
  • 1 for looper
  • 1 for guitar amp (if the amp requires one)
  • 1 x mic for guitar amp if it’s not using a DI (Shure SM57 or similar)
  • 1 x guitar amp / power cord (1 x 12” combo / 25w – Fender Hot Rod Deluxe or Blues Junior, or
    Vox AC15)
  • 3 x vocal mics, stands, and XLR cables
  • 1 x foldback line XLR from desk. (No foldback speakers required for musician).
  • Wireless IEM receiver and transmitter.

BACKLINE NOTE: For non Victorian bookings the venue is to provide a drum kit. Drumkit specs – Gretsch Brooklyn or similar (Gretsch USA Custom, DW Collectors, etc). Sizes: 20” kick, 12” rack tom, 14” floor tom, 3 x cymbal stands, hi hat stand. Drum stool to have plush cover.


Minimum of 7000mm wide x 7000mm deep performing space is required for the full show. Height of the rigging points 6000m, with 5000m to pros arch or any overhead obstacles.

The set predominantly consists of a 1800mm x 3000mm platform on 1200mm legs with casters upon which the musician is stationed along with all instruments & mics. This platform is dressed with plastic & wooden flats. This platform stays in position for the whole show, however as it is on casters it can move between shows if the venue is shared between multiple shows. The rest of the set is made up of moveable props that are adjusted based on the venue.

There are various pieces of circus apparatus used in the show. These are brought on and off during the show or are rigged and paged out of the way. These includes aerial equipment such as trapeze, pole, straps and silks, a slack rope, puzzle mats (enough to cover the full stage), a cyr wheel and five stackable acrobatic chairs.

Crew Notes

The Defiant requires an lx operator, sound operator (comfortable with mixing live music) and a mech, venue manager or in-house rigger to assist with rigging in the venue. The show tours with a rigger (one of the performers) and a technical manager who oversees the lx plot and acts as stage manager for the show.

Transport Notes

  • A small truck and 8-seater people mover is required for overland touring.
  • The show can travel by plane, with additional 1 x double pallet freight (venue must have access to forklift for freight pickup & delivery).

Audience & Marketing Notes

The Defiant is a family friendly show that attracts a combination of adults as well as families with older (tween and teenage) children.

With particular appeal for:

– Established fans of contemporary circus & physical theatre;
– Those interested in feminist or female-led theatrical work;
– Lovers of dystopian and post-apocalyptic aesthetics (with the potential to connect through pop-culture or writing interest groups);
– Fans of live rock music and original, emerging Australian songwriters.

Selling Points

  • Joyful, exciting and energetic circus show
  • Live rock & roll sound track
  • Elite, world class athletes & acrobatics including an ex-Olympian
  • Award winning show - in it\'s premiere season at the Adelaide Fringe it won the overall award for Best Circus plus two weekly awards including the prestigious Pick Of The Fringe Award
  • All female cast & creatives challenging stereotypes of strength

Community Engagement

  • Q&A\'s & Meet The Cast experiences
  • Music Workshops for adults or children
  • Circus Workshops for adults or children








Venue Format

Proscenium Arch, Black Box, Big Top Tent


60 Minutes

Available Until (from - to)



Budget & Fees

What are these? Find out more.

In Development - work which will be produced and premiered in time for touring during 2022/2023. Please contact the Producer directly for Budgets and Fees.

Remount: $14,657

Weekly Sell Off: $14,511

Per Performance: $7,555

Royalties: 9%
Apra Obligations: Basic license required

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