The Lounge: A Circus Cabaret, MFF 2014

Published online by Buzzcuts a youth review run by Express Media. Link to online article: http://buzzcuts.org.au/2014/10/the-lounge-a-circus-cabaret-mff-2014/

A vintage inspired variety show, showcasing feats of acrobatics, contortion, a little singing, a little more dancing and a mirror ball. Add a hint of Spanish and a little friendly competition and you have The Lounge.

Located in the Gas Works Theatre, part of a multipurpose arts park in Albert Park, The Lounge: A Circus Cabaret was a performance directed and performed by Lumiere Acrobatics. It was the creation of Glen Birchall, also director and a performer in the show. The show includes aerial elements, dance acrobatics, themed dances and contortion.

Run by two hosts competing for the top position, it is a friendly, competitive cabaret show. The inclusion of the many different acts, builds up to a spectacular finale, involving a dazzling acrobatic display with a mirror ball, what the group calls the aerosphere, a first due to its unique engineering and design.

The characters had just the right amount of cheesy, in other arenas perhaps a little much, but spot on for the style and type of show, especially given the vintage theme. The two hosts and their troops added an unexpected layer to the show, giving the otherwise circus show a theatrical element. The performers, themselves, showed great skill and aptitude for their craft, skillfully mixing lighthearted comic elements with high focus displays of physical ability.

While the staging at first appeared somewhat lacking, this soon changed, with the introduction of more elaborate props, music and lighting as the show went on. The stage itself is at ground level, with the audience seated in raised stands. This gave the show an inclusive feeling, as the audience, even in the back row was close to the action, providing an intimate performance.

The use of different music styles and languages from smooth Spanish tunes to strong Edith Piaf during a beautiful aerial piece gave the show variety, but also meant there was something for everyone, whilst giving the whole performance depth. The final prop, the previously mentioned mirror ball deserves further mention, giving the two performers a shimmering base for their athletic and graceful display.

The show was a great evening out and demonstrated both an eye for detail in the aerial and contortion acts, along with a sense of performance in the portrayal of the lighter acts. A couple of moments in the dance acts seemed a little lack lustre, but this was quickly made up for and the show was other wise a great display of talent. The short time frame, of only an hour, possibly due to it being primarily a circus show, meant that it was short and sweet, a fantastic prelude to dinner. At the same time, a little longer may have been good, as when you’re really starting to get into it the show finishes. Otherwise, it was a fantastic performance, transporting the viewer to a simpler time of personable cabaret entertainment.

The Lounge: A Circus Cabaret is an intriguing show, providing laughs, amazement and a general good time. It is suitable and would appeal to all ages, in different ways from little children to big children and beyond. It is a great night out and well worth viewing.

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