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