Left – Captain Frodo. Photo – Perou. Cover – Bret Pfister. Photo – Olivia Rutherford.
“I shouldn’t really be reviewing this”. I remarked to my friend on the way to the La Soiree Tent. “I’m not really a circus person.”
I am happy to report that I have seen the light. The differences from other circus act I’ve seen are many but the one that lifted this above all the others was the humour. The patter and asides were genuinely hilarious. That said the skills displayed were world class.
Flirtatious Miss Frisky opened the show, with a mass of red frizzed hair and clad in gold sequins she cut a striking figure. She became even more so when she morphed into a disco queen before our very eyes, strutting the tiny central round stage while belting out the opening number.
The English Gents, Denis Lock and Hamish McCann, were simply incredible. Bowler-hatted and be-suited they performed amazing acts of acrobatic strength while reading the newspaper and puffing on a pipe. There were gasps of delight when they stripped to reveal rippling muscles and Union Jack underwear.
Mario, Queen of The Circus (Clarke McFarlane) was as much a spoof as a tribute to Freddie Mercury. His jokey chat, provocative hip gyrations and dance moves were brilliantly funny. He displayed juggling prowess as he mimed to Another One Bites the Dust.
Satya Bella spun her fluorescent hula hoops all over her lithe body with elegance.
The next act was one of the cleverest audience participation acts I’ve seen. Credit must go to audience member, Andrew, almost as much as Mooky Cornish. Andrew drew roars of supportive laughter as he gamely went along with the slapstick romance that unfolded. Reading labels of dialogue strategically placed on Mooky, he ended up miming the love duet Tonight from West Side Story.
Yamel Rodriguez was the stuff of male fantasies; clad in fishnet and killer heels, she pirouetted and twirled above us on a single strap while smoking a small cigar. Her agility and flexibility was amazing
The first half ended with Captain Frodo contorting his alarming way through two net less tennis racquets. It was an extraordinary feat. His comments were truly funny. His choreographed pratfalls and entanglement with the stool, microphone and lead were nothing short of brilliant. The disjointing of the shoulder was, however, not for the squeamish in the audience.
Mario selected a tall young blonde, Jordon, to ride a unicycle on stage. He warmed her up with an exotic dance routine. His silver tassel nipple pasties will stay with me a long time! She was a trooper and ended up sitting on his shoulders while he rode the unicycle. Captain Frodo returned in an elegant turban and costume to perform some daring acts with a cucumber and a sword, before swallowing the latter. Brett Pfister was an extraordinary sight as he performed an aerial ballet with a hoop and strap. His tattooed body created a moving picture of athleticism.
Denis Lock was enthralling as he demonstrated the mystery and magic of bubbles. Pairing them with smoke from his pipe he created fantastical carousels with sparkling lights. His English Gent partner Hamish McCann used a faux lamp post to display unbelievable feats of elasticity. He took pole dancing to another realm.
Mario then led the audience in a rousing rendition of Queen’s We Are the Champions.
The only unsurprising aspects of the show were the roars of appreciation and the standing ovation.
2016 Fringe World Festival
Venue: La Soirée Spiegeltent Western Australian Museum Perth Cultural Centre
Dates: 22 January – 6 March 2016
Tickets: $35 – $65 (15+)