AU ABROAD

Arts Review: El’ Circo Blanc - Slide (Performances Until August 27th 2015)

In a darkened room a girl performs aerial silks.

Slide in Sydney specialises in experiences. As soon as you enter the world of El’ Circo Blanc you are transported to a Russian winter wonderland. Alicia Quin as the Russian Babushka effortlessly guides the audience through a narrative that takes us through her life in the Imperial Circus. A talented singer, her vocals accompany the many acts which punctuate the evenings five course degustation menu. The food is exceptional. Every course is unique and flavoursome with a Russian twist. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the night’s entertainment. While on the subject of food, I have to mention the mulled wine which smelt like heaven and tasted like Christmas. One sip and I was transported back to the Christmas markets in Europe.

Our narrator is accompanied by her loyal side-kick Mr Gorski, the juggling clown. He doesn’t say much, but then he doesn’t have to, providing some light relief and often assisting to distract the audience while scenes are being set up in other areas of the club. His best act is near the end where he fights against the wind and rain with his umbrella. It’s an incredibly clever skit, evoking laughter from the audience and perfectly setting the scene for the finale.

A male contortionist performs a back bend on stage.

It is difficult to pick a favourite from the six exemplary performers on stage. Each is immensely talented with their own unique skill. The contortionist blew my mind, as did the two women who performed lyra and the man and woman with aerial silks. Highlights include a rendition of Dean Martin’s ‘Let It Snow’ as ‘snow’ actually fell on us from the mezzanine level, the amazing set and costume design which really make you feel as if you’re in a European winter and the grand finale where confetti rains down as a woman performs aerial silks to ‘Excalibur’.

A shirtless man seduces the female singer while a woman on aerial silks is in th

If I’m honest, the narrative that is designed to hold the entire work together and incorporate the food courses is a bit superfluous. The acts are so strong they could easily stand alone. The slideshow which played on the screens around the venue added another layer to the production, except during the couple’s aerial silks. As Quin wows the audience with a stunning rendition of Des’ree’s ‘Kissing You’ and the couple gaze longingly at each other images of half-naked men and women appear on the screen, there was even an image of a man with a basketball covering his privates – it was a bit odd and slightly not in keeping with the touching scene unfolding in front of it.

El’ Circo Blanc is an enchanting night of mesmerising performances and delicious food that will make you wish that winter would ever end.

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El'Circo Blanc is performed every Thursday night at Slide in Sydney (41 Oxford St, Darlinghurst). Show runs until August 27th. For tickets and more details head to: http://www.slide.com.au/shows/elcircoblanc/. The reviewer attended the performance on 5th June 2015. You can read Naomi's interviews with the cast HERE.