Blanc de Blanc (Strut & Fret Production House)
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
September 2 – 24
If Alice was an adult what would her wonderland look like? The answer is “Blanc de Blanc”, with an emphasis on the adult. The show, which brings its salacious fusion of circus, cabaret and burlesque to the Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent at this year’s Brisbane Festival direct from London’s West End, is all sorts of energetic froth and bubble.
While, in keeping with circus work traditions, there is no storyline, there is central motif from which the show draws its inspiration… champagne. (It’s marketed the show that pops your cork). And the premise leads to an assortment of vignettes, from more traditional hula-hooping and skilled aerial work as, from the front-of-stage jacuzzi, performers soar in the air around and above the audience, to a human champagne fountain and an unmentionable act with a maraca to the soundtrack (of sorts) of ‘I Will Survive’.
In every instance the performers show astonishing core strength, balance and flexibility as they twist and turn their buff and beautiful, barely-clad bodies in the most impressive of acrobatic ways. As with last year’s fabulous “Fear and Delight”, the star of the show is undoubtedly Spencer Novich, the jester of sorts whose extreme characterisation includes mix of clowning and contortionism. And his perfect delivery, again, of the same mimed monologue of sorts, set to sound effects and samples randomly mashed together from all range of sources, is worth the repeat for its brilliance.
The aesthetic is one of indulgence; its lush lighting of rich reds and sexy shadow silhouettes add gloriously to its hedonism. The mix of music, too, suits its naughty-rather-than nice attitude with celebratory take on a range of contemporary pop tunes, from ‘Lady Marmalade’ to ‘The Way You Make Me Feel’, in mix with classics like Etta James’ ‘At Last’ and Edith Piaf’s ‘La Vie En Rose’.
“Blanc de Blanc” is all sorts of often-inappropriate, 18+ full-frontal nudity fun, like the audience has been invited along to the performer party on stage… literally, in its moments of participation. It’s a loud, proud and a visually-rich show that bubbles in its spectacle, perfectly suited to a late-night festival schedule and non-traditional space, but risqué as its content is, not be to everyone’s taste. But as the suave Monsieur Romeo, the emcee for the evening proclaims… ‘If like champagne have a glass… If you don’t you can kiss their ass!’