Theatre Review: Blanc de Blanc At The Hippodrome Casino Theatre
BLANC DE BLANC has hit England’s capital with a bang at the London Hippodrome and it is a whole eclectic mix of a variety of different principles. It is definitely not your average theatre show, it doesn’t have the typical elements that would define it as a circus, but it has an infusion of naughty burlesque tones, cabaret, physical comedy and sporadic but utterly entertaining acrobatic moments.
From the creators of LIMBO – seen last year at Wonderground’s Spiegeltent and some of the creative minds behind Madonna’s Rebel Heart Tour, BLANC DE BLANC has arrived at the atmospheric Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square ready to tease, shock and entertain with the premise: what makes a good champagne?
Strut & Fret’s new show BLANC DE BLANC is a mixture of naughty and offbeat entertainment, but it is important to note that this production is only for over 18s as it contains risqué performances consisting of nipple tassles, moments of partial and full nudity and performances containing hilarious numbers – however, you do end up seeing a lot of these performers, which may be more than expected. It is all delivered in a light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek style that is likely to be popular with audiences of the hen and stag do varieties too.
Inspired by and themed around champagne, the piece is hosted by Monsier Romeo, a kind of French maître d’. Do not be fooled by his role as a bilingual compere, he is willing to show a lot more of himself (pardon the pun) in the second half as he enjoys a dip in the bubbling bath much to the delight of the audience.
The set pieces are combined seamlessly with a variety of music spanning across decades, which are infused perfectly with the revelry on stage. Of course, there’s the off-stage moments of distraction too with bursts of audience participation as performer Laura New partakes in a balloon-popping striptease where she is literally rolling around on the audience to burst her costume. Also, audience members are invited on stage for some fun and performer Emma Maye Gibson demonstrates her pelvic floor muscles as she compels one audience member in a chair with a strategically placed firework in an aperture more inventive than one may have originally prepared themselves for!
The moments of aerial acrobatics are sublime. Masha Terentieva kicks off proceedings with an acrobatic number on a hotel luggage cart and with hula hoops, showing an incredible physical power and flexibility. Shun Sugimoto‘s contortion and breakdancing were excellent and Spencer Novich‘s comedic elements were utterly hilarious.
The standout performance of the night came from Milena Straczynski and Hampus Jansson, whom demonstrated a particularly beautiful aerial show – it is clear to see that they have put their Cirque du Soleil acrobatic repertoire to good use and you couldn’t help but wish these moments lasted longer amongst the furore of the other chaotic set pieces.
The cabaret components of the show are coupled perfectly with their glitzy costumes, which have been designed by James Browne. The performers outfits are both contemporary and classic burlesque attires, which made the whole experience a striking hoodang.
Overall, there is no denying that BLANC DE BLANC will provide a funny evening of entertainment: it is ludicrous, sexy and risqué as it combines a whole range of elements that make it nigh on impossible to categorise. Think Moulin Rouge-come-Vegas in London. However, the party atmosphere keeps the mood throughout and the high spirits will draw a smile out of even the toughest of spectators despite some maybe wishing for more circus than coarse.
BLANC DE BLANC runs at the London Hippodrome until August 28th. For more information and tickets, see the Hippodrome Casino website.
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