★★★★★ | Blanc de Blanc
Blanc de Blanc is the new circus show in the cabaret theatre at London’s
iconic Hippodrome Casino. From the team behind the sublime LIMBO and
Cantina, it’s described as an evening of ‘breathless abandon’ and they’re not lying. It’s a dazzling spectacle of pure madness.
Imagine if Bob Fosse’s disaffected dance hall girls from Sweet Charity met with the bawdy performers from The Kit Kat Club in Cabaret and decided to mix it up by throwing in a smattering of MTV style gyrating and twerking. If you add in the attendees at a fetish ball, the clientele of an underground Parisian bar from the 1930s and some wasted dancers from an Ibiza foam party then you’ve maybe envisioned part of it. That sounds like an unholy mess but it really isn’t. It’s bizarre but it works.
Loosely linked by the celebration of champagne drinking, the show is hosted by French beefcake and model Monsieur Romeo and his sidekick contortionist and post-modern clown Spencer Novich. The show contains the inevitable repertoire of cabaret standards. There’s trapeze work, hoop spinning and contortionism as well as plenty of nudity and things being inserted into or pulled out of places you might not want to even think about.
There’s the usual stuff that makes you gasp, laugh and say “Eurgh” as well as marvelling at the performer’s skills (and their beauty). The difference between this and a standard burlesque or circus evening is the style. Everything is done with panache. Choreographer Kevin Maher and director Scott Maidmont’s production is a sight to behold. It’s not surprising as between them they’ve worked with J-Lo, Madonna and Britney (to name but a few). It’s all deliciously camp and self-mocking and tremendous fun.
The styles gel together and the show segues well between acts with a great build up to a frenetic finale. It’s raucous but restrained and even in the most absurd moments retains some dignity. It’s like an unfettered club night but one where you have to be a member and have a propensity for the darker things in life to be allowed in.
They even manage to make a 5-minute pause for the audience to pop up on the stage to take selfies with the cast not seem too brash. If you’re looking for a good night out with attitude then you won’t go far wrong with this show.
Blanc de Blanc plays at the Hippodrome Casino until 29th August
Follow Chris Bridges on Twitter
Chris is a theatre and book obsessed Midlander who escaped to London. He’s usually to be found slumped in a seat in a darkened auditorium.