Posts Tagged ‘Circus’

Briefs Bite Club – Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Center

July 27, 2022

I’ve been watching Briefs in its various incarnations for years – my affair with Briefs appears to have outlasted many of my relationships, in fact. I was happy to have them back after lockdown ended. I mean, what life needs right now is a big, glittery, queer burst of joy, right?

Only – I _had_ actually thought they’d gotten a bit formulaic. And this year, they threw the formula out the window for their show at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. No more tent, no more disco anthems, a bit less audience interaction – instead, it was a heartbreakingly beautiful show celebrating everything we have to enjoy about life, in times that seem increasingly dark.

Emcee Fez Faanana explained that the change came because of a connection the Briefs cast – and I think maybe he specifically – made at an Australian festival with the singer Sahara Beck. Hearing that story of connection, of people looking out for each other in a really bad time … well, that’s a story I’m very open to right now. And all that time shut in together, bouncing off the walls, not knowing what to do …. and then maybe reaching out a tiny tendril to someone else and having them reach back …. yes, I want to hear and see that story, I want to see what they created, with that spoonful of care and a healthy serving of WTF is going on sprinkled on top, what they did in the same place so many of us found ourselves.

What we got was an exceedingly beautiful show, one that, with the often heartbreakingly beautiful songs accompanying it, made me think about what a wonder it is that people can do so many amazing things with their bodies. They can bend in two, they can juggle 12 balls at once (maybe it was less, it seemed like 12), they can shoot to the sky on silk and willpower, they can love and laugh and break each others hearts. When the “gigolo” character stripped his final bits of clothing off, it was in no way filthy – it felt instead like a celebration of being alive. And that’s a place I really want to be right now.

Briefs Bite CLub – Photo credit Lachlan Douglas

If you are curious about what kind of circus work Briefs does – I could describe it in detail for every act – but instead why not just go and let this beauty wash over you and spend an evening being happy for every moment we’re given.

Thank you for the great night, all of you, and I hope to see you again in much more joyous circumstances. (This review is for the press night performance that took place on Friday, July 22, 2022.)

If you’re interested, here’s the songs Sarah performed – I honestly would have come out just to hear her sing, her voice was so good.

Set list:

Crack bang bang

Like you

Mr breezy

Hunter

Tapping on the roof

21st century

Nothing wrong with that

Queen of hearts

Daisy

Everyone wants noise

Here it comes

Sarah

Here we go again

I’m in love

Review – La Soiree – South Bank Big Top (behind National Theatre)

November 25, 2010

Last Sunday I took advantage of the Metro‘s offer for half priced tickets and went to see La Soiree, a night of circus-style entertainment at a venue on the Southbank. I’d been to La Clique and loved it, and this was supposed to be the same thing-ish, only … well, mostly it seemed to be about the same lineup, but a different venue. This meant the return of balancing act The English Gents, sword-swallowing and latex-wearing Miss Behave, contortionist Captain Frodo, and the ever so yummy David O’Mer (notorious for the “bathtub” act).

The venue, however, was just gorgeous, a tent behind the National theater with a huge bar area (and very functional toilets) in the waiting area outside the main space, a second bar just the other side of the ticket takers, and then a glamorous mirrored “big top” area, with a circular stage surrounded 4/5ths by rows of chairs and this area rounded by a walkway with cozy little booths (probably big enough for six or even eight) all along the sides. There was also a space sort of at the “top” of the stage (furthest away from the bar entrance/exit) where there was a raised platform and then, on the level behind it more or less level with the booths, another little stage.

To my disappointment, the Sunday incarnation of La Soiree featured rather too much of my least favorite acts, the drag puppet mime “Cabaret Decadanse” (I think they were on three times) and Captain Frodo (who actually wholly repeated his show from before – the routine with the tennis rackets and then the one with the balancing buckets). The puppet singers I find boring, and Captain Frodo is just kind of gross and unsexy and has a stage presence that makes me … I don’t know, wish for it to be over. Goofy is just not what I come to La Soiree for.

However, we did get some magnificent balancing work from the English Gents, who were just as dapper (and ultra yummy outside of their pinstriped suits, and – even better – in a kimono!) as ever, and displayed the wit I remembered them for from my visit to La Clique. The audience was laughing and oohing and aahing and I felt very lucky to get to see them again.

My companion’s favorite act was “Mooky,” a curvaceous blonde who sort of put herself out as a bit of a stand-up, audience participation comedian. I don’t want to give away any of her act but we were all but falling out of our chairs. Once again, it was a rather thoughtful performance, rather than just being crass or comptetent-while-boring. I didn’t really buy into her stage persona but at the end I was sold by what she accomplished.

Rather more on the freak side was the “Spanish” singer and dancer (who’s stage name I’ve forgotten despite it being written inside his cape), who wound up at one point playing guitar ping-pong with the audience and then, later, juggling eggs – again, with members of the audience. This also had us on the edge of our seats, more or less with terror, but hey, we were certainly paying attention as things went flying every which way.

What’s sad, at the end of the day, is seeing just how many acts could have been performing – the really sexy Ursula Martinez (where did that hanky go?), people on roller skates, my beloved Miss Behave, and the rather enticing looking Le Gateau Chocolat (a “killer baritone” with “a penchant for being wrapped in body hugging lycra” per the program). There was really so much more we could have seen! Still, despite my whinges, my friend and I had an excellent time (aided by the liberal application of vodka), and my feeling, as I left, was much like it was for La Clique: I had really had such a good time and wanted to come back as soon as possible with as many friends of mine as I could get together, and then sit around, slug back drinks, and have a wonderful, sexy, clever, pulse-raising night out. La Soiree was great fun and if you like the things I like, this is a perfect evening to chase the winter blues away.

(This review is for a performance that took place on Sunday, November 14th, 2010.

Great deal – half price tickets for 7 Doigts “Psy” show at Peacock Theater – first week

April 20, 2010

We’re doing great for offers with the Metro in the last week – today brings another 50% off deal for Les Sept Doigts de la Main’s “Psy” show at the Peacock Theater. I saw their “Traces” show last year and enjoyed it a lot, so if the volcano grounds me, I’ll be sure to cash in on this deal.

Details of the deal: it’s only good for shows from April 28th through May 5th EXCLUDING SATURDAY EVENING, for half off £36 or £28 seats. (£10 balcony tickets can be found on LastMinute.com if you’re interested.) Either call the Peacock theater (0844 412 4322) and quote the “Celebrate the City” offer, or go to the Sadler’s Wells website and use the code “pcdcelebrate” when prompted. Enjoy!

Metro deal – two for one on “Compagnie XY” circus at the Roundhouse

April 14, 2010

The Metro is totally hitting it this week as today we’ve got an ad for two for one tickets on Compagnie XY “Le Grand C” at the Roundhouse. Two fers don’t appear to be limited by price range but are only good for performances from Saturday the 17th through Saturday the 24th 2010. Take advantage of this deal either by calling the Roundhouse at 0844 482 8008 and quoting “148”, visiting them in person, or going to their website (it’s recommending http://www.roundhouse.org.uk/login, but I think this page is what they mean) and using promo code 148 BEFORE choosing your tickets. Remember, enter the promo code BEFORE you choose your tickets.