Photos courtesy of David James McCarthy
It’s exciting, it’s sexy, it’s a bit crude, it’s absolutely hilarious – it’s Blanc de Blanc at the Spiegeltent. Approaching the imposing tent in the half-dark before the cabaret-comedy performance, the first thing that hits you is the sound. The thumping music, the roaring laughter, voices amplified across the normally quite lackluster square in front of the Canberra Theatre Centre. There are lines for days, filled with high-heeled women and suit-jacketed men, each clutching a glass of sparkling. The experience starts before the performance – how apt that a production about champagne is anticipated with exactly that.
Now, here’s a disclaimer: I don’t drink. Neither am I a huge party girl. However, despite perhaps not being the exact target audience, the atmosphere was something I definitely could enjoy. It’s not everyday that a naughty piece of entertainment comes to Canberra with such grandiose, and it was very exciting walking into the smoke-filled Spiegeltent, past the bustling bar and into our seats surrounding the circular centre stage. Characters with large eyelashes and revealing clothing patrolled the pathways, giving a very other-worldly feel. And then the show started.
To be honest, I’m not sure what I was really expecting. It was a whirlwind of dance, music, physicality, pushing the body to its limits – and lots and lots of innuendos. The aerial and contortionist feats stunned the audience (myself included), and the raunchy teases and jokes had everyone hooting and cackling with laughter. This is a performance that gets the audience involved – I’m sure the first row were soaked with champagne already after the first act and volunteers from the audience were hauled frequently up onto the stage. It was an excuse to let go and just have a bit of fun – although maybe not in the company of your mother.
With a cast from all across the globe, the show highlights the unique talents of each performer – but doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s self deprecating and hilarious. Monsieur Romeo, the sexy French ringmaster, is undermined by the clown Spencer, who in himself is hilariously flawed and somehow the most relatable. Each performer is unique and has their own moment to shine – from the shining muscles of breakdancer and contortionist Shun Sugimoto, to the beautiful and daring aerial acts of partners Hampus Jansson and Milena Straczynski, to Australia’s own mime Jess Mews.
This is a show not to be missed. Grab your girlfriends or mates together and experience a tiny slice of sexy glamour while it lasts.
The Spiegeltent is only in town until 20th May, with tickets to its headlining show Blanc de Blanc and other comedy and music performances selling fast. Tickets are available at canberratheatrecentre.com.au.
*Disclaimer: I attended as a guest of the Canberra Theatre Centre. However, all opinions remain my own. For more about my disclosure policy, click HERE.