Strut and Fret; Sydney Opera House Studio. January 4 – March 9, 2019
“Not recommended for persons under 18 years, this performance contains adult concepts, nudity and references to alcohol consumption”. Of course it does! It’s local production company Strut and Fret’s Blanc de Blanc returning to the harbour city to add some saucy circus cabaret pizazz to the summer festival buzz!
Directed by Scott Maidment and led by outrageous ‘comperes’ Spencer Novich and Remi Martin Lenz, the show is bold and loud, a sort of Cirque du Soleil for adults with lots of glitz, glam and cheeky, risqué innuendo. An extravaganza of dance, clowning, song and aerial stunts performed by an international cast of audacious, multi-talented entertainers, Blanc de Blanc, like the dry champagne after which it’s named, is full of intoxicating bubbles and fizz.
Songster Ashley Straud joins this new show, along with aerial artist and sexy mover Reed Kelly, and aerial hoop duo Caitlin Tomson-Moylan and Spencer Craig. There’s Australian dancer Lauren New, burlesque artiste Skylar Benton and contortionist Uugantuya Otgonbayar (The Greatest Showman).
In a smoky haze and radiating light show, the Opera House Studio becomes a twenty-first century art deco cabaret cavern, where cast and audience merge in a frenzy of Kevin Maher’s suggestive, undulating choreography, a sound track that blasts and rebounds and a show that moves fast and furiously from segment to sexy, surprising segment …
Such as Novich and the cast, naked but for white towels, writhing suggestively in a dance routine that demands judicious timing and brazen flair. Or a huge parachute-like sheet that spreads across the space and slips away to the balcony, which, later, becomes the focus of a long plastic tube of flowing champagne that spirals through the audience to Lenz’ glass on the stage below. And that’s just a taste of the of the many acts that flow precipitously from comedy to circus to seductive song.
Infused by champagne and sparkles, energy and effusion, Blanc de Blanc Encore is everything the original was, and more. It’s a deftly-directed, tightly-performed production full of cheeky fun and flippant frivolity.