Review: Blanc de Blanc Encore at the Fortuna Spiegeltent, Garden of Unearthly Delights

Review By: Lia Cocks After seeing the inceptive Blanc de Blanc two years ago, my expectations were high. I was hoping this wasn’t going to be like a bad sequel following a great original. I wasn’t disappointed. Strut and Fret’s gutsy and uninhibited blend of comedic cabaret, dynamic dance numbers and awe arousing aerials will leave you applauding like mad and wanting for more. Seated in the round, the stage is set with champagne on ice, and large circles, or balls if you will, creating the backdrop. The opening Gatsby-inspired party really got the crowd fired up and in the mood for what lay ahead. Our incredible and wacky hosts for the evening, Felix …. and Remi Martin took us on a journey to Parisian glitz and glamour, transported us through vintage French flavours and fantasies and opulent times of the City of Light. Their interluding gag shows were an absolute highlight for me, as was their chemistry, banter and connection on stage together. Scenes of the cast lip-synching to various songs about drinking while a spotlight followed them around provided fun moments in between the dramatic aerial and trick extravaganza. Tuedon from Montreal, the straps and splits kween, was sensational in her aerial hammock routine to ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’. The sultry tones and jazzy timbre of Rechelle Mansour’s rendition of ‘Champagne Taste’ had the audience spellbound. Host Remi demonstrated his unique and categorically hilarious talent of body part percussion to ‘La Vie En Rose’; this has to be seen to be believed and words on a page just will not do to describe how unbelievable this was! Another standout, was Ugi the Contortionist, and her routine involving an audience member, an oversized armchair and her incredibly bendy body. She later returns to ‘conduct’ Offenbach’s Can Can with another volunteer. Consider this your warning for side splitting vaudeville at it’s best! We conclude the first act with an uproarious skit from Remi and Felix about ‘happiness’....say that with a French accent and you’ll understand the hilarity and an all in pillow fight with feathers and fluff flying from all angles of the audience. Second act opens with the risque but very clever Nude Towel dance; with towels strategically placed or falling for that matter, to cover their modesty. The audience were blown away by the pole routine by a number of the ensemble cast, not to mention the breathtaking duo - Caitlin and Spencer. Their aerial hoop routine was truly miraculous and wondrous; a mix of grace, strength, agility, intricacies and incredible skill. We all sat in silence, astounded by their talent, that one could hear a pin drop. If a night full of suspenders, corsets, bare chests, champagne and confetti cannons is what you’re after, then Blanc de Blanc Encore will deliver. And then some. Strap yourself in for a wild ride you won’t forget! And yes, I’ll be back again next year.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.

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