‘Jingle’ was scrumptious.
From the moment we took our seats in the sumptuously lit Brisbane Powerhouse theatre to watch
‘Jingle’ – the family-friendly Christmas show spectacular from the creators of Cirque Bon Bon – we knew we were in for an early festive holiday treat.
A show oozing with artistic flair and elegance, it’s no wonder one of its creators (Ash McCready) has links back to ‘Cirque Du Soleil’ – the juggernaut that made its name modernising the art of the circus act. Its influence was obvious in the best possible ways, with Jingle taking a classic format and enhancing it with carefully curated modern music, dancing and glorious (with just the right amount of risqué) costumes.
‘Jingle’ is clearly aimed at the entire family, it was flirty but not dirty (although the pole dancing number seemed to raise a few eyebrows around us). The humour was lighthearted and fun with the host, Dom Chambers, being friendly and engaging from the get-go. Chambers struck a chord with the younger audience without alienating the adults (or was it the other way around?).
While there was lots of magic, dancing, singing and comedic moments performed by a diverse and talented cast, ‘Jingle’ remains a circus affair at heart. The acrobats were the stars of the show. The first one to come on stage, an incredible contortionist who clearly doesn’t have a single bone between her shoulders and knees, kicked off with a massive bang, so much that my husband whispered to me that he worried the show might have peaked early! Luckily for us, it did not.
The juggler was also fantastic, delivering one of our favourite moments of the show. Seeing him and others very occasionally get things wrong offered a good reminder that all these stunts aren’t easy (try juggling with three frisbees, let alone nine, while bouncing a ball on your forehead).
The jaw-dropping, slick aerial tricks were another highlight and a clear audience favourite. It was impossible not to be mesmerised by the adorned strong bodies suspended in the air; moving with grace, beauty, balance and almost superhuman technical skills.
Choreographer/Director Julieann Nugent crafted lovely Christmas fairy-tale-like dance routines which not only stood on their own feet (pardon the pun), but also worked well to link the different acrobatic numbers together in the absence of a structured story line.
The six dancers showed impressive skills in a range of genres including tap dancing, ballet, and the costumes were all amazing. The live vocals by Ellen Reed were impressive, and Chambers not only hosted the evening but delighted the audience with a polished and laugh-out-loud display of magic and family-friendly comedic skills.
For all the acrobatics and immense talent we marvelled at all night, I’d be lying if I said we didn’t spend the better part of the car ride back home comparing and debating hypotheses regarding where the heck Chambers was hiding all the beers he made appear out of thin air, and whether or not his card deck was in fact full of king of hearts (the jury is still out).
The show was visually and musically stunning. All the (literal) smoke and mirrors added a dramatic atmosphere and also created a poetic effect that transported us to a fantasy world which, combined with the talent of the performers, sparked emotions that would remain in any kid (or adult) memory.
The Brisbane Powerhouse was an ideal venue in terms of size, atmosphere and accessibility. Unlike a show in an arena or big top tent, we had an intimate, perfect view of the action of stage, and yet we were at a sufficiently safe distance to avoid any unwanted participation or (worst), accidental direct eye-contact with a sequined crotch or fluffy reindeer derriere. Winning!
Despite attending opening night, everything about ‘Jingle’ seemed incredibly polished. The acrobats and artists were all confident and obviously seasoned professionals of rare talent, leaving us wondering: where do they find these people?
All in all, a fabulous show!
Jingle performs until Friday 23 Dec, 2022 at the Brisbane Powerhouse. For more information visit their website: https://brisbanepowerhouse.org/whats-on/event/jingle/