‘Blanc de Blanc Encore’ was titillating.
If you like your circus cabaret brimming with sassy sexual overtones and bubbly frivolity then Strut & Fret’s Blanc de Blanc Encore is the show for you.
One of the headline acts of the 2019 Brisbane Festival, this energetic and frenetic show has an ideal home in The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent, located in the Festival’s Arcadia precinct in South Bank’s Cultural Forecourt. Seating in the round, and performers roving the audience means that everyone gets to have a unique view of the on-stage action. And here the words “unique” and “action” mean that some audience members might cop a bit more of an eyeful during the scenes featuring a little bit of naughty nudity. But it’s hard to imagine anyone complaining; Strut & Fret have somehow gathered a cast of the world’s most beautiful people who also happen to be amazing acrobats, singers, dancers and comedians. It’s not at all, erm… hard… to watch.
An erotically charged celebration of all things champagne, Blanc de Blanc Encore saw our hosts, two French clowns, open the show with a bit of ballsy humour (literally). Their chemistry was a fantastic driver of the show through both acts, and they owned the stage with their witty repartee and spot-on comedic timing. And if their linguistic gymnastics weren’t impressive enough, both performers busted out some very impressive physical acrobatic work in the show’s second half.
Acts featuring art-deco divas and saucy burlesque maids intermingle with high-flying feats of strength and agility, each designed to titillate the audience in a different way.
The best parts of the show were undoubtedly the incredible overhead acrobatics displays, including the magical Moonlight Dancer, and an aerial hoop double act that was so moving and awe-inspiring because damn, the human body can do some insanely beautiful things.
If you’re afraid of audience participation you might not want to sit too close to the stage; the performers are always roving and there are some acts which required volunteers (and the performers love selecting people staring at the floor).
Similarly, if you have allergies or asthma, pop your meds before the show. Without spoiling too much, there are feathers involved and it was fabulous.
One (minor) issue with Blanc de Blanc Encore is the tendency to over-rely on dick jokes. We get it, it’s a bawdy party, and penis puns can be hilarious, but by the tenth fap-based joke it got a little old. The early gags featuring a cock-slapping beat-box routine work well to shock the audience into fits of laughter (hot tip: look at the shadow behind the performer if you want to blush), but by the time they get the show’s ridiculously talented contortionist out to mime-wank to classical music it lost its appeal. But that’s a small quibble in what is otherwise a delicious mix of comedy, circus, music and frivolity.
All the performers give so much of themselves (literally) that it’s hard to name a standout; they all work so well together to create an atmosphere of infectious frothy energy
If you like your entertainment sparkling, with a twist of zest, then you best head to the Spiegeltent to drink in all that Blanc de Blanc Encore has to offer.
Blanc De Blanc Encore performs until Saturday, 28 September 2019 at The Courier-Mail Spiegeltent. For more information visit Brisbane Festival – Blanc de Blanc Encore.