Review / Delightful and determinedly decadent

Cabaret / “Blanc de Blanc”. Director Scott Maidment, musical director Steve Toulmin. At the Fortuna Spiegletent, Canberra Theatre Centre forecourt until May 20. Reviewed by BILL STEPHENS

The cast of “Blanc de Blanc”. Photo by David James McCarthy

PERFORMED in the beautiful Fortuna Spiegeltent (the biggest of the spiegeltents currently touring Australia), “Blanc de Blanc” provides a deliciously, decadent evening of sensational acrobatic feats, classic burlesque and in-your-face nudity.

A discourse on the pleasures of champagne, delivered with cheeky insolence by the show’s suave Maite d’, Monsieur Romeo, provides the through-line for a succession of stunning world-class acts, each more amazing than the last, punctuated by well-choreographed dance routines, genuinely funny physical comedy routines and slickly staged eye-candy.

Like most of the rest of the cast, Monsieur Romeo began the show elegantly costumed, but by interval had stripped to black speedo’s to wallow in a bubbling hot-tub, much to the delight of the first-night glitterati, who literally fell over each other to be photographed with him and other similarly attired members of the cast, in a strange interlude towards the end of the otherwise fast-moving show.

Several of the featured acts have previously performed with Cirque du Soleil, including the impossibly slender, Spencer Novich, who together with the glamorous J’aiMime, provided much of the comedy with his unusual mix of mime and contortion.

Contortion also featured in Shun Sugimoto’s astonishing turn which drew gasps from the first-night audience. Milena Straczynski, sporting bright red hair, amazed with her astonishing strength and flexibility performing high above the heads of the audience in a glass-bottomed, hotel luggage trolley. Later she teamed with partner Hampus Jansson to perform an erotic double act swinging precariously from aerial straps.

Glamorous singer/dancers Laura New and Zelia Rose, together with Fremantle-born Jess Mews, who impressed with her brilliant hula hoop routine, completed the talented ensemble cast that perform Scott Maidment’s delightful and determinedly decadent confection.

 

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