The Strut & Fret Production House has a happy and fruitful knack of turning out circus productions that each year sit front and centre of not only the Garden of Unearthly Delights campus in the East Parklands but also people’s “must see” lists for the Fringe.
Blanc de Blanc won’t disappoint those who make a bee line for their shows each year; it’s a pumping bawdy indulgence in anything but French chic and elegance.
From the opening big bars of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue we get taken to a place where Jay Gatsby would not seem out of place. But as our MC, Romeo, quickly reminds us, in a terribly deep accent, we are in France now and thus a Moulin Rouge atmosphere quickly grips (which it must be said descends later into something more akin to the Crazy Horse) and from there it is “on for young and old.”
Two acts transcended the frills and froth, the champers and the crass. Idiot savant Spencer’s (Adelaide’s Spencer Novich) mime display in the first half was scintillating; clever, inventive and precise in equal and abundant measures. The second half’s duo trapeze act from the spa bath was breathtaking for the beauty and ease of movement – perhaps the best there has ever been seen in Adelaide.
The water, like the champagne flowed freely, sometimes onto the audience like one of those burst water mains Minister Hunter declines to attend, but as the show wore on the bawdy was accompanied by “wardrobe malfunctions” and then full frontal nudity.
Whether this is the way these shows have to now go, when there so much rivalry for the best circus act in the Fringe, is as unclear as whether this is a good thing. Prudishness aside, artistic talent has tended to win out in the past but beyond the aforementioned performers exceptional talent was in short supply last night – one dancer made provocative use of her nether regions while Romeo’s skills seemed limited to his hirsute body. You can get all this, as the ads say, “with free admission before 9” down Hindley Street.
Still at 100 minutes, Blanc de Blanc is anything but vainlla and, if you have the coin, a great night’s entertainment is assured. Just go with an open mind and maybe leave the kids at home.
Kryztoff Rating 4K