On Tuesday last week Lissa & I headed to Blanc De Blanc, a tongue-in-cheek (emphasis on the cheek(s) part) burlesque evening, at the Hippodrome Casino in Leicester Square. The show was created & produced by Australian company: ‘Strut & Fret Production House’, who have previous work includes critically acclaimed Cantina and Limbo. Tickets were thanks to Yelp!
BLANC DE BLANC
Choreographed by Kevin Maher, who recently worked with Madonna on her ‘Rebel Heart’ Tour, and marketed as a “sizzling new circus show”. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect from the performance, however I was pleasantly surprised. It was a mixed bag of aerial & floor acrobatics, cabaret, burlesque, contortion, comedy, dancing, singing… And nudity, from eight performers – held together with a champagne theme, hence the Blanc De Blanc title. Not so suitable for the shy or prudish audience members out there, especially if you choose to sit on the floor level seating – you might be alarmed by what you see!
There were two highlights for me: a performance by one of the goofier characters, who also doubled up as a compere on occasion: Jaimi Luhrmann (who I have since found out is a trained clown & juggler having been part of circus troops for 10 years). She spent some time inside a giant white inflated balloon during a mime act, which was particularly clever, and quite funny – it was unusual, but fit in nicely with the champagne/bubbles theme.
The second highlight was an incredibly beautiful & passionate trapeze show both above and within the uncovered hot tub on the stage. The performance featured aerialists Milena Straczynski & Hamous Jansson do some incredibly skilled rope & trapeze type work, culminating in a passionate embrace inside the onstage jacuzzi.
The first half was good, but the second half was better. I think this was partly due to it taking a while for the crowd (myself included) to relax into it during the first half – perhaps there not enough drinks consumed? But it was a Tuesday evening after all. There was also some audience participation in the first half that I don’t think went quite to plan! I did cringe a little due to MC “Monsieur Romeo” holding and popping several champagne bottles in a rather suggestive way on numerous occasions, but it did add to the raucous & playful atmosphere and was quite fun when a layer of the stage was removed to expose a hot tub/jacuzzi!
The opening act of the second half felt quite awkward to watch, it was a little cheap and seemed as though it was as an added extra “filler” – having a woman throw herself into the audience and climbing over audience members and spilling several drinks on the way. The aggressive invasion of personal space could have been a little much for some! But I won’t dwell on that. However with that in mind, I feel like I should mention the show is quite interactive. If you would rather not: get wet due to Champagne spray/water splashing, or have a scantily-clad lady climb over you, then sit further towards the back back of the floor level, or on the balcony.
The overall immersive burlesque experience risked being a little tacky at times, but it was the fun kind of tacky that seemed purposeful, so it was still enjoyable to watch. There was also an opportunity for a mid-show “selfie” with the performers. Due to being sat on the second level I thought Lissa & I would miss out, however one of the girls came up to see us and take selfies, which I thought was rather nice, catering well to the digital age (+ those in the cheaper seats upstairs)!
Much like my previous blog about the Bunyadi, London’s first naked restaurant, this is not an event to attend with the family or in-laws (in my opinion) due to the recurring adult themes, but I think it could be a fun date night (whether you’re with a friend or a partner), or a girls night out – such as a hen do or celebration evening.
Yelp are pretty great for fun (and sometimes unusual) experiences around London, and this event was no exception. A few months ago I blogged about a pop up painting evening (which you can read about here) – that was also a lot of fun!
If you like chatting to new people, and visiting new places, then you should certainly download the app & make a profile (and make sure you add me). Yelp organise some really unique events and activities around the city, in July I went to ‘Slides & Scoops’, London’s only ice cream festival situated in an adventure playground, it was really enjoyable & so lovely spending a day outside in the sun eating sorbet and ice cream (plenty of Vegan choices) – check out the Yelp event page all about it here.
Where? Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square
When? Blanc De Blanc runs at 7.30, five evenings a week from 14th July – 28th August 2016.
How much? Tickets range from £15-£50 and should be bought in advance.
For a full list of dates and to buy tickets, click here!
So if you fancy it, head down to the casino, get yourself some bubbles and prepare to see maracas appear from places you would not expect…
P.s. Lissa hasn’t blogged about it yet, but I hear she will be – so make sure you check out her blog Girl At The Rock Show! We also bumped in Kariss of Shy Strange Manic, who blogs about lots of great stuff, make sure you check her out too!