Saturday, November 11, 2017

Infamous.  Cabaret Cirque Sensation.

The Spiegel  Big Top. Majura Park. November 10 – December 17. 2017

Reviewed by Peter Wilkins


The guy behind me in the Spiegeltent Circus/Cabaret at Majura Park said it all. “WTF!!!” he exclaimed as high above the ground the trapeze artiste soared through the air into the hands of the man on the other trapeze.  “Oh my God!” he cried aloud as the contortionist in the rag doll routine was twisted and turned into unbelievable positions. “Wow!” The word lingered in mid-air as juggling balls changed colour, high in the air, and spun in cycles from hand to hand under the masterful eye of le jongleur extraordinaire.  Not a moment passed without an incredible display of artistry, strength and control. One moment the dancers erupted with energy, heralding yet another amazing circus act. At another their bodies, statuesque in style posed as heralds to another astounding moment of suspense, excitement and surprise.

Infamous is part circus, part risqué adult cabaret with a touch of burlesque and total entertainment from woah to go! But this is no ordinary circus. The familiar acts are there, The clowns, the gymnasts, the jugglers, the trapeze artists, the strong men and the beautiful aerialists. But they are powered by originality, invention, imagination and the ever present danger, The evening opens with a breathtaking, gravity defying display of balance, skilful momentum and sheer peril as two performers spin within an enormous double treadwheel and another runs like a mouse upon the rotating wheels.. There is no net to break a fall, no one to catch the blindfolded acrobat upon the spinning wheel.  Years of training, daily hours of practice and a will to defy danger and emerge triumphant before a cheering crowd urge the performer on. Timing is perfect and the adulation each circus performer’s reward.

In one of the funniest clown routines I have ever seen, the circus’s clown performs an hilarious balancing act with one of the strongmen of the troupe. A master of the pratfall, he turns slapstick into an art while his fellow clown defies expectation. She is a bare-breasted, body painted slinky black cat, sidling up to the audience and luring an unsuspecting audience member into a feline dominatrix routine, much to the delight of the audience.

And therein lies the magic of Infamous.This is not your usual circus show.  Combining the sexy, cheeky bravado of cabaret with the colour and vitality of circus, Infamous surprises, stuns and delights. In many ways, it may be regarded as the traditional bastion of the male circus performer, while the women lend a decorous posture to accompany the thrills and heart stopping near spills of the gymnasts, acrobats, or exude a brash sexuality in their writhing, electrifying sensual dance. The aerialist wonderment of the circus act is the woman’s art and in this show they excel in a graceful aerial pas de deux or as they fly through the air with apparent ease and spin to grasp the bar that carries them to safety.

Infamous will astound. It breaks new ground, introducing acts such as the tightrope walker juggling on a unicycle or the magical master of the juggle with his glowing balls. Moulin Rouge meets  a modest Cirque de Soleil in an evening of fabulous entertainment.