Review by Alison Stoddart
Baz Luhrmann once noted about Sydney “…Sydney is rather like an arrogant lover. When it rains it can deny you its love and you can find it hard to relate to. But when the sun comes out, it bats its eyelids, its glamorous, beautiful, attractive, smart and its very hard to get away from its magnetic pull”. Baz, Sydney was on its best behaviour at the opening night of Blanc de Blanc Encore. If Sydney is about summer and summer is about fun, then Blanc de Blanc is the ultimate night out and on a warm muggy night in Surry Hills the fun has returned with a French accent.
The show is currently performing in the Grand Electric Theatre, an old Australian Railways Union building in Cleveland Street. Complete with a bar serving drinks before the show, the theatre has an open-air area in which to enjoy a champagne and surreptitiously check out the other theatre goers (and occasional celebrity). The dress code is an encouraging nod to vintage glam and sparkle, in line with the theme of the show.
With an ensemble of eight performers, five women and three men, Blanc de Blanc Encore is a riotous mix of cabaret, comedy, acrobatics and aerial balancing acts. It opens with an amazing levitating disco ball, launches into a dance routine to a medley of pop songs to warm up the crowd and then introduces the double comedy act of Felix and Remi, the shows extremely handsome (and often naked) hosts. From these two charming French raconteurs (what is it about the French that lends itself to parody and piss taking), we get the sight gag to beat all sight gags. Undeniably silly but their looks of mystified innocence had the audience giggling like schoolkids. Felix and Remi have razor sharp comedic timing, honed no doubt by a multitude of performances as the original Blanc de Blanc was seen at the Opera House previously and Adelaide Festival in 2022. Their timing is again on display with a superb (and covid safe) grape tossing trick which although disgusting, was very funny.
A few highlights of the show were the antipodist or foot juggling that was mesmerising and even included juggling a table, and the titillating naked bath towel performance that managed to reveal nothing of interest from the five totally naked performers on stage.
The stylish back drop is well lit, in fact the lighting is spot on, highlighting the stunning physiques of this gorgeous cast in their dazzling costumes.
At various times the room filled with smoke, bubbles, confetti, and yes - feathers, in a highly enjoyable all-in pillow fight with the audience which descends the room into chaos.
Blanc de Blanc delivers a high paced two hours of variety style entertainment. It is decadent, carefree, hilarious and above all else, a great fun night out.
Image Credit: Prudence Upton