Review by Matthew Hocter
I had heard good things about Blanc de Blanc, the show that levelled up the all too familiar fringe show formula: burlesque, acrobatics and an inordinate amount of nudity, amongst other things. All things that I most definitely am not adverse to, but am most definitely in need of that ever so elusive “wow” factor that just doesn’t seem to be able to find its place at the moment.
As the sounds of drums pounded their way throughout the Spiegeltent, Blanc de Blanc opened with a gatsby-esque dance routine, complete with exquisite costumery and an electricity that bounced off of every being in that tent. A promising start that was complete with the very handsome and very French coupling of Félix and Remi, the show's hosts and frequent nudists.
For a show that goes for just over two hours with an interval, the expectation of non stop entertainment was high. The backdrops and lighting were stunning and there was an abundance of all things sparkly and sexy. An array of different acts kept the interest constant, but for such a renowned and class act as Blanc de Blanc, the “risqué humour” started to wear a little thin. Yes, the beatboxing of Remi’s penis slapping from thigh to thigh was amusing and maybe even when he did the same to Edith Piaf’s “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien,” but it wasn’t “wow,” more “ow.” An easy way to get an over eager, semi drunk and super horny crowd to cheer.
There were incredibly beautiful moments though. None more so than the acrobatic talents of Tuedon and Mirko (real life couple too). Tuedon’s aerial acts and Mirko’s balancing acts were beyond beautiful and displayed an intense amount of stamina and discipline. Add a room of bubbles, with a pole swirling and dipping around the tent complete with suspended beauty, and things really took off in the second half of the show.
As the show came to a close, it was the aerial hoop routine known as “duo hoop,” performed by acrobats Caitlin and Spencer, that stole the entire night. As the two moved on, in and around the hoop, supporting one another, the majesty and beauty of this art form was what sealed the deal. This exquisite display of artistry is what was needed in the first part of the show, a teaser of what was to come if you like.
Blanc de Blanc is clearly a crowd favourite and most definitely a show that will entertain, but after chatting with others that have been to previous years performances, the overall consensus was this show was quite different and may have just been lacking that something special. But hey, as they say in French “c'est la vie.”