The Brunton Theatre, Musselburgh
25th November – 30th December
As you might have guessed the Brunton Theatre in Musselburgh is my fave theatre in the whole world. As I entered the venue and found my seat, I was sat next to a chap called Tom. I recognised Tom. We had both reviewed a musical in Pitlochry back in 2014 – it’s nice to meet other writers. Tom is doing another 6 pantos next week.
The Brunton’s main theatre was packed with little people, Mums and Dads and Nannas and Grandads. Everyone was totally up for it – Sinbad is an all-singing, all-dancing love story packed with adventure, romance, action and comedy. All performers have been locally sourced, from The Brunton’s very own Dance and theatre company. the supporting dancers were all under 10 years of age and they all did a really good job. brilliant choreography was expertly performed. Sinbad has lots of audience participation with more “She’s behind yous” and “Oh no she’s not, Oh yes she is” than one could shake a stick at.
A pantomime dame called Betty (Sinbad’s mother), Cuddles the Cat, a Fairy Godmother and Rosie (who has a crush on Sinbad) join Sinbad on a cruise of a lifetime on the back of a whale. Because a wicked witch, who happens to be Sinbad’s future Mother-in-Law, is increasing rents in Fisher Row (boo!) So, they set sail across the Firth of Forth in search of fortune, and love… confronting mythical sea creatures in death-defying battles along the way. All brought to life with simple stage props, expert lighting and a very talented cast indeed.
With beautifully performed songs sung throughout this is fully engaging family fun. Every one had a very good time indeed. With a much-needed joyful ending, the whole audience was beaming with softened hearts. ‘Aye Aye Captain,’ Sinbad is glamourous and glitzy, the perfect antidote to the winter blues. So it’s all aboard the good ship Brunton… get your tickets now for a heartwarming adventure of a lifetime.
Sinbad is a winner.
Review: Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Written And Directed by John Binnie
Cast In Order of Appearance
Sinbad: Calum Barbour
Cuddles Nine-Lives: Ross Donnachie
Rosie: Eilidh Weir
Moneygrabba / Pirate Queen / Island Witch / Roc Bird: Wendy Seager
Nurse: Isabella Jarrett
Betty Brunton: Graham Crammond
Villager / Sailor / Islander: Poppy Smith.
October 13-15, 2022
Leeds is a wonderful example of a self-sustaining, modernizing city. The de facto capital of West Yorkshire, it’s bound to contain & attract a wide variety of talented performers – & of course the odd reviewer to check out what they’re up to. I’m in the latter category, & despite living in Scotland, I was heading down for the Burnley-Swansea game anyway (4-0, top of the league), so I’m like let’s check out the Leeds Playhouse while I’m nestling in the Pennines.
I’d never been before, & on entering for the first time fell instantly enamoured of the space. A proper Athenian ‘Theatre of Dionysus’, with steep’d galleries climbing tall into the cavernous auditorium, overlooking a spacious circular performing space. Yeah, it was great, & the acoustics were wicked. But so much for the tea-take – I think that’s what they call a bread roll in these parts -, what about the filling.
I love my Orpheus, me – he was probably the first western poet, c.1400 BC, & more than likely responsible for the original penning of the Cosmogonies, the Theogonia, & the wonderful Titanomachia. A couple of years ago I even visited the Greek island of Samothraki on some kind of Orphic pilgrimage, where the adolescent Orpheus was supposed to have been shown the lyre for the first time, strung by goat hair, which of course would lead to the empire of the guitar.
I am lonely
I need some serotonin
Somebody phone me
In 2022, however, the empire of the guitar is being challenged by such dazzling devices as the loop-pedal, & the way that the astonishing performer that is local lad, Testament, utilised this device meant the show did exactly what it said on the tin – Orpheus was truly in the house, presenting us with a truly Olympian vocal range with all sorts of stuff going on, from Gregorian chanting to hip-hop where he was rapping & beat boxing at the same time! I even thought of a new word to coin the magic; jawgawp, when you gawp at something with yer jaw hanging out – which I was doing!
All these audio skills are supported by a nifty script & some virtuosic musical performances from a small but tight-as-you-like ensemble of musicians. These came on to the stage one-by-one as the story & the intensity of the music developed, ending in an otherworldly jarring, sparring finale which had the entire audience ovating on our feet.
There’s comedy, there’s warmth, & there’s a proper natural insight into the mechanics of running a record shop. The substory of Testament’s dealings with DJ Vulture was an excellent narrative to plunge into in between the tunes – tho’ the love story not so much. Perhaps this was an allusion to the original Orphean Euridice story, where he tries to bring her back from the dead – in this tale she’s an absent ex-lover -, but it didn’t have the same impact as the rest of the play. Despite that, it’s extremely rare to get a blend of theatrical performance & live gig, where you feel as if you’re experiencing both sensations at the same time, but the hypnotizing mantra that is Orpheus in the Record shop pull’d the concept off magnificently.
Damian Beeson Bullen
Cumbernauld Theatre at Lanternhouse
24 September – 1 October, 2022
‘Bold Girls’ was a play on show at the Cumbernauld Theatre Lanternhouse, in the transformed complex. It is a 31 year old play, giving it a stunning success and obvious popularity. It has travelled the breadth of Scotland and far beyond as part of a fearless Theatre taking down censorship of both large and small proportions. The pleasure to be there was in a huge way a good sign of survival in the unbelievable position the world finds itself in at this time.
The play’s premier at The Cumbernauld Theatre was in a town very different today than it was then. Set in 1991 Belfast it has travelled internationally and to great success with sustainability that audiences have lapped up.
The Irish life of that time in Belfast stirred the Theatre into action, with such a lovely tone and accent, things seemed normal in conversation between the 3 family members (though things fell apart). The smart choice of cast brought a very incentive presentation with an organic quality.
The day to day life was tastefully injected making grounds for a story of survival that struck a painful note stirring feelings of compassion in an audience enthralled. The ‘Troubles’ pointed out as all the more potent.
The three characters had different stage appeal that went a long way into setting the right kind of scene. Written by the playwright Rona Munro after an experience there ‘under the troubles’ of which we shouldn’t estimate acts of depravity that communities lived through.
The lucrative stances of life between the girls came from the great negatives circling the times before there was a political will for peace and extreme violence was all too common. They sat together, made tea together but fiercely argued and fought with each other. Very much bringing the tensions of living during the times to the stage with a cutting, shaping and word smith talent that with strength put human fragility on par with the realities of it.
Families who were close were fragmented in a fearful environment that went about teaching the segregation and separation held on both sides as the one true way. Everything in this expert play was to enhance its sorry, crazy circumstance as it used Zen to place props and tables to portray normality alongside the bloody chaos.
It helps to a large extent to find a voice to express itself, then another, then another, Theatre is at its magical best as a tool for giving this voice so as to at least escape silence that the undeniable trauma had come about in the community as seizure after seizure.
The beauty of the play helped hit home the spirit of a need to protect but it is in a world where nothing could be done to alleviate and even halt the well known proceedings. The joys of discussion with regard to normal life, as it is a bold life, with three close ‘Bold Girls’. But the message consisted around the terrible tragedy of war or occupation, entre the stranger Dierdre (Katya Searle) a hard and mysterious role opened up, but only to a recognition of pain.
Nora (Pauline Goldsmith), Marie (Julie Martis), Cassie (Leigh Lothian) and Dierdre performed as an entourage of a sacred beauty and truth, with words of normality that directed the coming outrage incredibly well.
This was a very touching performance with writing to intercept an object nearly impossible to take. The joy was in the overcoming of the human will and spirit, but it was a world imbued with tales of painful cruelty, unfairness and looking back at the heart.
May we through dialogue find the necessary fact that conflict does harm to the greatest human being’s who survive and lives within dysfunctional boarders. I sensed a bond coming from these repeatedly wonderful actors who had a power to then from a most brilliant play stripped of anything but the lives that mattered most being driven down with hard to bear bearings and actions. That will not soon end because of the amazingly distorted actions in an issue that won’t be forgotten.
A well known and loved play, a play to show love being affected in its soft and pliable influence even in a world of threat, and a performance that makes such sense as to send out its message far into space, with a hope so tender as to make your heat full.
Scottish Storytelling Centre
29th Sept, 7.30
We were very warmly welcomed to the stunning play ‘The People Woke Up’ which was an evening organised by the Story telling company Ice& Fire. Working on the basis of its commitments to human rights Ice&Fire are successfully bringing trauma to theatre. In the evenings consort stories were shared as an international Belarusian presence were given a warm and supportive salute from Scotland who seem to be able to step in as a free speaking country which is a help in a big way.
Listening to these true stories of incidents in the ‘Occupied’ Belarus take-over, I found the influence and relationship between Belarus and the UK was of saving grace, urgency was the message. Human rights were focused in the use of theatre, offering great promotional potentials of travelling the globe.
The 4-person panel play of true stories in the events that happened in 2020. As the stories unfolded the message echoed through the room. The sold-out evening (thinking maybe it being better with fewer ears, minds and hearts to change) was to give Belarus a voice as it was hit in 2020 by the shift from democracy for a dictatorship when a rigged election brought about the rise to this elevated position that would last 27 years, for Alexander Lukashenko.
Living through nothing less than a dangerous environment, we realised that every important step towards reunion for Belarus cannot be done in one go after the currents of devastation that seem to have no end to. The force of flight has shown a light of hope for Hanna Komar who is a Belarusian Poet and an exemplary student on PHD status. Of all the four’s stories which were all true but those told by Hanna were of her own account, witnesses one and all.
Things are on this catastrophic level replacing humans with machine’s, unemotional and without mercy; The words of the play, asked for time to allow things like reflection and raising of concerns of very deep thoughts that have culminated into looking towards finding a manifestation for what was termed a collective healing. After being forced upon them it is now their time and place to free its people from the aggression of oppression.
The story goes; at first a great spirit arose in reaction during that year, but the feeling soon turned to the despair. The state of things setting the play to push for help. In the hope of freeing everything that Belarus is, Hanna’s incentive as an activist was suddenly devastated in her surprised realisation that things could go so wrong. It was her who, in a moment of the eye of a storm, noticed that ‘the People Woke Up.’ This evening created a small but soulful cry for all the action now needed with a new platform to express the real education that communities have found at the heart of shock.
This unrequested understanding on everyone’s face’s made possible for people and actions given a placed and time for a performance that had to be of strength to be amazed by, turning action into soothing talk about the disbelief that is now unavoidable.
Belarus sounds like a vibrant, richly cultured destination with a great many things to offer, but aid is now needed from the rest of the world but how do we go about it? At least this little simple gesture of a chance to share is a show of solidarity, to help herald a place in a bad position, but making things change was the highlight of this remarkable play.
This week, Actors for Human Rights are bringing ‘The People Woke Up’ to Edinburgh – the Mumble had a chat with its creator
• Hello Hanna, where are you from & where do you live these days?
Hello. I’m from Belarus and I’m currently based in London. I came here to take an MA in Creative Writing on a Chevening Scholarship in September 2021. The idea was to go back home after the year, to bring all the new knowledge, ideas and experience back to my home country. But it’s not safe to return now. So I’m staying to undertake a PhD at the University of Brighton.
• As a poet, would you say there are specific themes or styles that are the key ingredients to Belarusian poetry & which other Belarusian poets do you like?
I think Belarusians are a poetic nation in general. We open up to poetry quite naturally when we encounter it, and we have a lot of great poets, including contemporary ones. Belarusian poetry is diverse, as it should be, I believe. Recently, women’s voices have become especially powerful and distinct. I can make a long list of names that I consider prominent, but sadly, by far not many of them one can find in English translations, and this is the main reason why only so few Belarusian poets are known to the English-speaking audience. Among them, of course, Valzhyna Mort is the most renowned. Julia Cimafiejeva is another important voice, and her English collection “Motherfield” is to be out soon in the USA. Kryscina Banduryna, a strong, uncompromised voice sounding from Belarus, despite all the risks which speaking out poses. These are obviously just a few, but they all have something in common: they write from a feminist perspective on the life in Belarus, reflective of its past and present filled with different forms of violence.
• How do you approach writing poetry yourself?
My approach to writing poetry now is different from what it used to be before the summer 2020. My poetry used to be personal, even intimate, even though it of course reflected the context, the time and place I was living in. Since 2020, I’ve mostly spoken about collective experience. As the repressions at home have been getting worse and worse, I’ve lost my own voice and my own words. I’ve been mostly documenting the collective experience, and I’m grateful for the existence of docu poetry – because it means that I’m not keeping silent, that I still have tools to give voice to those who need it. But actually, I’ve also started writing creative non-fiction, as it gives me more space to tell stories of Belarusians.
• How much involvement do you have with PEN Belarus?
I worked at PEN Belarus, now I’m a member. Of course, I follow their activities, they do very important work not only for the present but for the future. I’m also an honorary member of English PEN. Being part of the community helps to not feel alone and powerless when far away from home.
• Could you tell us about ‘The People Woke Up, what is the piece all about and what is your involvement with it?
It is a verbatim, which means that you hear the stories of real people told in their own words. Four Belarusians who have been affected by the post-election protests of 2020 in Belarus tell their stories – from the moment they got involved in the protest till present, and we can see them in development, how their lives and their personalities have changed, evolved I’d even say. These voices represent hundreds of thousands other stories.
• Can you tell us about the creative processes involved in making the show?
On my end, when I learnt that Christine Bacon, artistic director of ice&fire was collecting stories, I felt appreciative that in 2022, amidst all the horrible things going on in so many places in the world, and amidst the Russian invasion in Ukraine, someone didn’t simply remember about our fighting, but wanted to amplify our voices. I was interviewed for the script and then Christine invited me to actually read my own story out in Edinburgh. I feel both excited about it, because it’s a new interesting thing for me to do. I’ve performed my poetry loads, but never taken part in a script reading. At the same time, these are all painful memories, and going back to them time after time is not easy. Also, my experience feels almost innocent compared to the others, but I remind myself that if people want to hear it, then it’s meaningful.
• Who else will be performing the piece, and what has it been like sharing your experiences?
The other performers are also from Belarus, and they are also not living there. I haven’t met any of them in person yet, but I look forward to sharing this emotionally charged space of our collective experience.
• Have you performed in Scotland before and what do you like about the country?
I haven’t performed in Scotland before, although I have a little dream of performing my poetry in the Lighthouse bookshop in Edinburgh. And I would like to get to know Scotland better. I had a short tourist visit a few years ago, and I was excited when I heard a group of people in a pub in the village North Berwick speaking Scottish. I even asked to have a photo with them) I think we are somehow similar in the spirit. But also countries which have history of being colonised share some experience. That’s why artistic, academic and this sort of collaborations are so important between us.
• What hopes do you have for some kind the future of Belarus and your freedom of speech there?
I have hopes for a Belarus free from dictatorship and free from the omnipresence of the Russian colonialism in our lives. I know that when freedom of speech is possible in Belarus, it won’t make it a democratic country automatically, and I know there will be not only respectful debates but a lot of fighting over all kinds of things. But I also know that it is vital for humans to be able to speak. To think. To feel. And not be punished for it. A lot of problems can be resolved then, with the help of art in particular. Wounds can be healed.
• Please would you send us two examples of your poetry that you would be happy for us to publish?
These two poems I wrote in August 2020.
We couldn’t find you
that night on autodial
tones like batons
like rubber bullets
directed at you
130,131 . . . long tone
a morning face on concrete
kicked from unconsciousness
three days without food
there’s no answer
to all our
and red hearts
human body and memory
with our belief in the better
we rename the colours
fear, anxiety, mourning
loving, resistance and hope
when it’s over
i will help you paint
these bare walls
Minsk, August 2020
Women’s solidarity chains
there are no flowers
nor tears along the road
only the beeping
from the passing cars
i want to be my body again
neither red nor white or black
not the hands holding reproach
but bare feet walking on grass
i put on a thimble
and pet your hair
i do this to my fingers
imagine my heart
a living woman
neither a battle flag
nor a bud of hope
I want to hear my voice
I want my body back
i must never have
The People Woke Up
September 28th: Scottish Parliament (17:00)
September 29th: Scottish Storytelling Centre (19.30)
theSpace – Surgeons Hall
Aug 24 – 26, 17.15
Fleming Hall lies around the back of the Space venue Surgeons Hall up South Bridge. The hall had a delicious sense in its lay out, seats sloping slightly to the stage below. On comes Elsa Jean McTaggart, returning to the Fringe, to introduce and celebrate the most gracious life and times of Eva Cassidy. In her life Eva had put an arm around the world with her music and personality.
Elsa hold’s Eva (who died tragically) in her heart as her most favourite artist of all time. Her love was evident on stage as she burst into the song ‘Songbird’, written originally by Christine McVie who played with Fleetwood Mac, but performed with a whole new wealth to the song.
Eva, whose footage was onscreen, would often cover songs she loved and through her multitalented harmonising made them into something quite different. Elsa stood out, with her voice a tale in itself, all was up as we considered Eva’s unbelievable vocal range Elsa had it covered through a great, rich, and saddest of times that perpetrated the story and the music of Eva.
Such a great heart was afoot, that gave the performance an edge and brought about a huge giving sentiment, with clarity and crystal clear guitar and vocal. She struck and pulled at the heart strings of all there, including herself and it became like a eulogy as we were guided along with Eva’s story from birth to the end, in an act that captivated, inspired and even set us free.
It was a melodic experience of music that conducted the world and stopped many heads who were blown away by Eva’s voice and talents on the guitar. She could find more harmonies than even The Beach Boys, her class and style blew away cobwebs and dissolved falseness all of which tuning through musical success.
And quietly we listened to Elsa gently, lovingly and heartbreakingly speak about her favourite star, to then sing with all the glory contained in Eva’s vocal achievements. Eva’s success looked like blooming into greater potential heights when she was diagnosed with Cancer, we listened with a sense of sympathy and honour.
I got all of this information from going to see the show, the well presented tasteful tribute and celebration. Eva’s sense of ethics also shone through in her life and when she left home things were looking good, she may have famously died before she sold but I really don’t think that affected the success of her life, being human. She was tried on this when the family moved school and she discovered poverty and great discourtesy, to her sadness and disbelief.
There is so much to say about this beautiful, exceptional, wonderful artist who touched the world and everything in it by learning to play music and express to a level rarely rivalled by any. But when you get to see this show called simply ‘Eva Cassidy: The Story’ all provisions were attentive to the stage that was filled with a big heart made bigger in the deserved praise in the way that this young musician was able to abundantly shape the world and everything around her. A harmonious story of rich, learned and stunningly beautiful music performed in the same degree.
theSpace on the Mile
Aug 23 – 27, 20.10
There seems to be a heightening in this years Edinburgh Fringe of the thing that matters most; the actual performances. We turned up to the Space on the mile for a very short (half hour) play called ‘1:2:2192 (Retribution Day)’ some kind of code for the apocalypse to come? On one level yes!
This was a two person play brought about in the hotel venue, the close and clean space had only a couple of rows of seats on three sides of the looming yet practical stage (floor level). For the purposes of clarity the scenario was a lawyer (an anchor to judge the characters) as they shifted from memory to memory shared by a couple seemingly in love.
They verbally danced together sang together argued together and finished each others thoughts. There was a kind of patience in the affaire using silence and thought as much as dialogue and action. But the action took its twofold place in the story unfolding all was not well in a remembered moment of abuse.
From that moment on the story hit the wilderness of self harm and life catastrophe. Hospital admission, diagnosis, revenge; onward was driven into their lives that we saw become more and more unwell. We were entertained with pain and severe mental illness being played and imparted.
I guess the length of the show, was put in place to heighten the surreal experience with even a few jokes placed here and there. The two managed a kind of consistency with lines written for thinking rather than to entertain or cajole.
They would often look out into the crowd and in the close (passionate) space it felt like peering into your soul, which was all this play was about, with dialogue as I have said of very upsetting terms. The word control really helped them steal the show in their great and ultimately destruction powers of it. They do get help but every time while it works in the beginning it becomes clear that getting better wouldn’t take place.
Taking the place were the dynamics, and a serious delusion seemed the fill the air almost like a fog. They finished very quickly but all that needed to be said was, unfortunately the brightly written well conducted moments of silence perpetrated could not save the two from their self harming anguish, a timely play perhaps but lets keep believing in hope for the future. Not over loaded with darkness but filled with terror.
Underbelly “McEwan Hall”
23 – 28th August @ 15.30pm
Within the busy and bustling Bristo Square is the Underbelly’s McEwan Hall which is playing host to the Dance, Theatre and Circus show by the Cirk La Putyka and Kyiv Municipal Academy of Variety and Circus Art called BOOM ! Coming together not long after the outbreak of war in Ukraine in 2022 these young artistic dancers and theatrical actors have a story to tell.. A talented 15 plus cast members take to the stage with silent effect.
With music that Tangerine Dream would be very proud of the earie yet enchanting sound fills the auditorium with a pleasant blanket of calmness.. Through the magic and dynamics of expressive movement the human spirit is present in each twist and muscle contraction. Moving from strength to strength this piece of physical theatre navigates the pearls of borders and the love of friendships entangled with emotions of hope.
Impeccable ground and air excellence provides the audience with death defying dance moves that enthral you with inspiration. Theatrical storytelling, dance and circus acts connect with incredible timing and are executed in an eloquent manner. Smooth like silk and rough like an uncut diamond this is a precious and inspiring piece of theatre. Through the creation of dance, messages of hope, love, family, despair, truth, connection, wisdom, fight and honesty are the ingredients that bind this show together.
Funny, as well as intriguing this generates a positive reception from an already captivated audience. Juggling, acrobats, gymnastics , diabolo, comedy, folk singing are all incorporated beautifully in this twisting bending and mending masterpiece. These young talented performer’s deliver a delightful but hard hitting well-choreographed story that deserves all the credit they receive… A must see at Edinburgh Fringe 2022.
Underbelly’s Circus Hub on the Meadows
Aug 18-21, 23-27 (17:30)
Divine tends to shy away from Bowie Tributes, Having seen The Master live 9 times up until his ascension anything other than the genuine Bowie would never cut the mustard. Have never seen a tribute do Bowie Satisfactorily. However, it was while coming out of the Laffeyette Big Top last night that I heard the song selection of Bowie Numbers performed and I have to say I was quite impressed, two of my contemporary faves. I’m Afraid Of Americans and Halo Spaceboy alas this was the Pet Shop Boys Duet with Bowie and not the Rockin Outland version. Still I had a little boogie on the Meadows, before returning home to write my Cirque Alfonzoe Review.
Then this morning I put the feelers out both to Damo at the Mumble and the people at Underbelly for review tickets for todays 5.25pm performance. The tickets arrived at 3pm, Good Time and I was off on my review Mission of the day. Getting to The Circus Hub in plenty of time and joined the queue for the afternoon’s performance of Rebel. Now why would a Bowie Tribute be performing in The Circus Hub one might ask? Well get this, Rebel is a circus performance set to the music of David Bowie, Now this really is entertainment multitasking.
Stewart Reeve – lead Singer
Rachel Trainor – Drums
Chris Singer – guitar, pole
Matt Anderson – keys and juggling
Jane Schofield – aerial and hoops
Rockie Stone – Saxophone, bottles and chairs
Rebel is an Australian production with band and acrobats from Melbourne,New Zealand and the USA, having done successful national Australian tours, Rebel arrived on British soil for the first time at the beginning of the Fringe and has performed to a packed Spiegel Tent every night and have only heard great things about this unique and contemporary take of the work of the Grandmaster.
So first of all the lead singer of Rebel, Stewart Reeves. Did he cut the mustard? Well the lad had a fare crack of the whip and with passion he sang the hits of Bowie with a competent backing band, that delighted the audience, Ziggy Stardust, Heroes, Space Oddity, Life On Mars. Fashion, I’m Afraid Of Americans, Halu Spaceboy Lazerus, Changes, Lets Dance, Under Pressure and a Labyrinth Number, The Magic Dance.. The song selection is completely awesome Indeed it was an informed selection of music to cover.
Now the beautifully choreographed acrobatics, ariel trapeze. juggling, Hula Hooping masterclass of balance and poise takes the front stage, the opening ariel trapeze performance to Space Oddity was a thing of beauty. And there was a different performance of circus brilliance for each of the songs performed. Indeed Rebel is a lot to take in and can do nothing other than delight. This is a unique and adventurous creative project and yes Bowie would approve, Bowie loved Circus Skills. Did it work? Well the audience gave a standing ovation at the end of the performance, it is without a doubt a hit of the Fringe and it is noble in scope and reach at first an unlikely fusion of performance arts, yes it did work with added Stardust. Indeed a 5 Star Fringe performance.
Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert
Underbelly’s Circus Hub
Until the 27th (16.25)
The company, which unites the Carabinier-Lépine family and friends, gets its name from Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez, its municipality of origin in Lanaudière. The Québec fibre is central to each Cirque Alfonse creations as the troupe draws on national folklore for themes, to which a modern touch is added.
The Alfonse clan has captured the hearts the public in 2011 with its lumber camp in Timber!, and its cabaret electro-traditional cabaret in Barbu in 2014 followed by Tabarnak in 2017. After having toured the globe several times and experienced worldwide success, the troupe returns to give you have an unforgettable time. with this new production called Animal.
My 2nd visit to the Lafayette Big Top on The Meadows to witness death-defying world-class acrobatics, I had the good fortune of getting review tickets from this all singing, all dancing rock n roll Family Acrobatic Opera. With a full backing band that deserved a 5 Star performance of their own. Such was the brilliance of the musicians that created this dynamic soundtrack, All of the family of acrobats shared vocal duties, the two beautiful lady acrobats were also the lead singers. The songs presented were all indigenous to the Motherland of Crique Alphonse, agricultural farm fables, Hence the working title of “Animal” Farm Animal to be exact, The Lafayette was transformed into a working dairy farm with a Kick Ass Soundsystem.
With simple props, the audience were on the edges of their seats as this family of accrobats performed beautifully choreographed athletic feats of draw dropping eye candy, with a very funny rubber chicken sketch, the little ones in the audience thought it was very very funny, I did too. It was a big family audience for a big family show. Three generations of family. From the stilt walking, Tractor Wheelying Grandpa, who also shares vocal duties. To the closing scene where the newest additions to Cirque Alfonze, balancing on Daddies hand without a flinch.
Animal is perfect for families and it brings the inner child out in all that see it.
Roll Up, Roll Up. Get Yer Tickets Now. The Alphonses Are In Town.
Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert