Blanc de Blanc.
Circus International. Presented by Strut and Fret Production House. Magic Mirror Spiegeltent. Garden of Unearthly Delights. Feb. 17 – March 19 2017. Adelaide Fringe
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
The Adelaide Fringe’s Garden of Unearthly Delights on the parklands at Adelaide’s East End bustles and brims with crowds taking in thee delights of a myriad of acts from high flying comedians, circus troupes, cabaret performers, burlesques and all kind of acts to titillate and excite, to rock the tent or venue with rollicking laughter or gasps of surprised delight.
A long line of eager Fringe visitors file into the garden’s Magic Mirror Spiegel tent for an evening of cabaret, acrobatics and naughty nudity. The revelers are there to have a good time, to whistle and cheer, to ogle and applaud and soak in the spirit of cabaret and circus. The sophisticated French accented MC slowly fondles the stem of a the champagne bottle, sliding with sensuous ease into wicked sophistication as he introduces the alluring women and the gangly, bumbling clown, Spencer.
It is the cabaret of Tease, fizzing with innuendo and double entendre, enticing the audience into an intoxicating evening of gay abandon. There is the women gymnast twirling in the bellhop’s jar, and later swirling the hoops in athletic circles about her neck, her knees, and wherever she might please. There are the aerialists twirling above the bath. There is the rubbery clown, Spencer, with the sad clown’s face and the Le Coq mask of grimace. And there the fizz loses its sparkle in flashes of naked skin and embarrassed audience participation. This is no Dom Perignon White Gold of a show. No euphoric sip of romance bubbles to the surface. There is underutilized talent and soulless familiarity of routine.
This parody of cabaret needs style and panache to give the parade of disconnected acts some zest. There is no theme to connect the show’s performances apart from the suggestive fingering of the champagne bottle’s neck to urge its ejaculation. Subtlety is no servant of this cabaret. It is in dire need of lively, imaginative and theatrical direction.
Having said this, and feeling disappointed that potential was never realized, apart from the occasional flash of talent, the audience had come to delight in the sexy and the suggestive and the spirit of a night out at the Spiegeltent. It is time to turn the mirrors on the act and find a new reflection in the glass. There was laughter and whoops of delight and standing ovation as the bubbles and the feathers splayed across the seats, and a happy crowd made their way back out into the bustling Garden.
They have had a good time, but I couldn’t help feeling that they deserved a better brand of sparkling bubble in their glass.