Fired up for new record

Tarabelle Murphy and Rusty Hammond met at a fire breathing workshop and have performing together ever since.

FREO husband and wife circus duo Rusty Hammond and Tarrabelle Murphy will attempt a new Guinness world record when they perform at this year’s Fringe Festival.

Although Ms Murphy says she can’t spoil the spectacle by saying exactly which record they’ll be chasing, it does involve fire and they’ll be having a crack at beating it again each night during their season, which runs from January 20 to February 13.

The pair have been performing as ZAP Circus since they met at a fire breathing workshop more than a decade ago and have since been touring the world performing stunts she says are uniquely theirs.


The pandemic has put a stop to the international touring, but they did manage to do some online performances to honour European and American commitments; Ms Murphy said performing without an audience was a real challenge, but they did everything in one take and kept any little mistakes to try to keep as close to a live performance as possible.

They also spent a few months as artists in residence in Exmouth, mentoring local artists in performance and business, and performing at local schools.

“We taught people to make hula hoops and we had a nice big show in town at the end,” she said.

The enforced layoff also gave them time to develop a whole new show, and while the Fringe performance Circus Fire Spectacular has been performed before, 

it’s also been given a major overhaul and features 14 individual acts.

Ms Murphy says it’s a “bit darker than your traditional circus show” but is still suitable for people of all ages.

ZAP Circus will be performing at The Pleasure Garden at the Fringe World Festival. 

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