Set inside the Aurora
Spiegeltent, Strut & Fret’s Blanc de
Blanc is the newest blend of cabaret, circus and burlesque to make its way to
Melbourne. A stream of scantily-clad men and women present a variety of acts
intended to titillate and dazzle, and while there are some thrilling moments,
this is unfortunately rarely the case. As such, the show ultimately comes across as a
relatively mediocre variety night of dance and clowning, which over two hours begins
to feel repetitive and tiresome.
Spencer Novich is absolutely
hilarious as the right hand man to maitre d’ Monsieur Romeo. His clowning and
physicality kept the entire audience bellowing with laughter and his mime montage
of various sound bytes all thrown together was the highlight of the evening.
His later pairing with J’aiMime for a second dose of this was even more
impressive. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for his Romeo, whose entire
presence throughout the show felt awkward and at times unnecessary.
What makes us who we are? Are we all the same and if not, can we accept our differences and co-exist peacefully? In Circus Oz's new show Model Citizens these ideas are explored through a variety of tricks and acrobatics that captivates its audience from the very first second right up until when the lights go back up with an extremely polished and well-thought out production.
The opening minutes of the show in which the talents of its eleven cast are showcased, are thrilling and energetic with the momentum never slowing down throughout the two-hour spectacle. It's refreshing to witness a show where the performers' personalities come through and express genuine excitement to be on stage inside the Big Top tent.
My mind is constantly sprinting from thought to thought. Partly from my anxiety and partly from being a full-time worker, part-time student and avidly attending various Melbourne theatre and live art performances, so when a friend told me about a ten day silent Vipassana meditation retreat, I was all ears. Vipassana means to see things as they really are, and the practice is based around deep connections between the mind and body. This involves meditating eleven hours a day between 4:30am and 9pm, and for
these ten days speaking, eye contact, reading, writing, the use of
technology or sexual activity is prohibited. Perfect.
It was easy to sign up for, as the form itself only took two minutes and no payment was required as once you have completed the course you choose to donate how much you feel like, so I could easily have cancelled or backed out as the date got closer. As the date began to approach and started to become more and more of a reality, anxiety and fear crept in. Would I last one day let alone ten? How would I cope with a 9:30pm bedtime? And would eating only two meals a day sustain me? I jokingly contemplated cancelling and spending ten days at home, getting Uber Eats and watching all the films I need to watch and getting through the two dozen unread books I own.
The third and final show for Action Hero’s tour of Melbourne
ends with their most affecting one, Wrecking
Ball, which plays with the concept of the imagined and the real and what
happens when these two things come together. Can they co-exist or will it be an
explosion of catastrophic proportions? Created, written and performed by James
Stenhouse and Gemma Paintin, it is a cleverly constructed show that gradually
but suddenly pulls the rug out from under your feet.
Stenhouse is a photographer attempting
to photograph a celebrity played by Paintin. The photographer is busy making himself
a cocktail at his makeshift bar. Above him hangs a small neon lit sign with the
words “cocktails and dreams”. He welcomes us and offers us a drink and
to take our seat. The celebrity remains seated, surrounded by lighting and photographic
equipment, patiently yet frustratingly waiting to begin the shoot.