Featured Post

Christmas Mysteries: A Sherlock Carol @MaryleboneTHLDN

A mash-up of Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol and Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes would seem an unlikely pairing. Yet it provides a surprisingly fun Christmas-themed adventure. These two Victorian tales (albeit separated by about 40 years) provide the basis for an inspired adventure at Christmastime that just also happens to turn out to be a murder mystery as well. With lavish costumes, a few spooky set pieces and some good old-fashioned stage trickery with lights and a lot of smoke machines, it is hard to resist. It returns to the Marylebone Theatre for Christmas after a run there last year.  The premise is that after Holmes sees off the criminal mastermind Professor Moriarty, he is left adrift in London. People thought he was dead, and he might as well be. Disinterested in the misdeeds of other Londoners, Holmes has even given up on his friend Dr Watson. It's almost as if he has become a Scrooge. Or half a Scrooge, moping about shouting, "bah" in respon

Flipping memories: Catch Me @FlipFabriQue @UnderbellyFest

It's the start of summer. The weather's hot and the Underbelly Festival at the South Bank Centre is opening with its usual eclectic mix of circus acts, comedy and cabaret. And Flip FabriQue's Catch Me fits this bill well.

There is beauty and fluidity in the performances. The premise is that ten years later a bunch of friends reunite for another weekend at a cottage together. They play. They have fun. And they do strange and unusual things with straps, trampolines and diablos.

Quebec-based Flip FabriQue brings together circus artists to tell stories drawn from their own experiences. With a backdrop of a cottage the acrobat routines evoke memories of the past and a spirit of playfulness.

A squeaking Bruno Gagnon is soon flipping through the air. Hugo Ouellet Côté on straps is looking at a photobook. Camila Comin and Yann Leblanc soon become intertwined on a Cyr Wheel. It's amazing to watch.

Underbelly is continuing with its reputation for bringing the best circus acts to the South Bank summer. And this had me recalling past years with Circa and Gravity and Other Myths.

Perhaps those productions were a little sharper and focused. Not every scene works here which makes the show drag at times.

There is an interlude in sleeping bags that seems out of place. Another segment with exercise balls and Barry Manilow's Copacobana seemed less impressive. It's probably not a good idea to use that as a backing track. It's too much of a distraction. Either half the audience want to sing along while the other half want to cover their ears.

Still it's hard not to like a show which features an ice-lolly eating competition and duelling diablos (not the sexy one's we're used to). There is also some incredible high energy trampolining to close the evening.

Directed by Olivier Normand, Flip FabriQue: Catch Me is at the Underbelly Festival at the South Bank Centre until 9 July.


Photos by Richard Davenport.

Popular posts from this blog

Opera and full frontal nudity: Rigoletto

Fantasies: Afterglow @Swkplay

Play ball: Damn Yankees @LandorTheatre