Cabaret review: Blanc de Blanc Encore

The Spiegeltent hosts a night of ribald humour, aerial stunts, extravagant costumes and a pillow fight.
An aerial act involving two performers and a suspended hoop against a pink and purple background.

Set in the outdoor carnival atmosphere of Twilight Electric at Brisbane’s Northshore precinct comes the production Blanc de Blanc Encore from Strut & Fret. A Japanese magic bar, Ferris wheel and smoke-filled cocktail bar added to the ambience of the area.

The iconic Spiegeltent interior with its Art Deco lamps, Victorian-styled stained glass windows and circular stages became the ideal setting for a fast moving, French vibe cabaret. 

The night began with a sensual female vocalist while a mirrored disco ball levitated behind her, after which, the audience was treated to the cast of nine entering the stage and toasting the crowd with glasses of champagne. Each cast member then leapt from the stage to take up various spots throughout the room where they sang different passages of various songs, with the spotlight cleverly fading to black between each one.

Blanc de Blanc Encore was hosted by two male emcees who continually bounced their raunchy comedy skits between the acts.

The rear wall of the stage was reminiscent of the American 60s-70s classic comedy series, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In as many brightly coloured circular doors opened to reveal a cast member poking their head through to exchange one-liners or brief dialogues.

Routines included a can-can dance and French Maids featuring both male and female performers attired in extravagant costumes.

There were three spectacular aerial acts that featured a rope and a pole where at one point, the performer swung over the heads of the crowd, but the highlight of the night had to be the balancing act where a spellbound audience watched the simultaneous twirling and balancing of parasols, cushions and a table – with feet, no less.

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Audience participation was paramount as a pillow fight, which started on stage, filled the room with a mass of white feathers with everyone encouraged to join in.

This was followed by an ingenious routine that saw the whole cast totally naked with only white bath towels hiding their modesty. They managed to dance while showing only a hint of flesh.

The only reason this performance has been awarded three stars was the unnecessary brashness of a female performer simulating male masturbation twice.

Presented by Strut & Fret as part of Twilight Electric for Brisbane Festival Conceived & Directed by Scott Maidment
Choreography: Kevin Maher
Lighting and Set Design: Philip Gladwell
Musical Composition: Steve Toulmin
Costume Design: James Browne
Comedy Consultant: Spencer Novich
Additional Material: Laura New

Tickets: From $62.68

Blanc de Blanc Encore will be performed as part of the Brisbane Festival until 18 September 2022.

Jacqui Glyde is a professional cabaret dancer, trained at the famous Rudas dance studios, Sydney, under the choreography of Sheila Kruse. For over 30 years, she performed in clubs and numerous venues, touring many Australian states, Asia, Canada & the UK. Her television appearances saw her on stage with Australian & International celebrities. She now resides in South East Queensland, and in the process of writing her memoir in her spare time, Since beginning her memoir journey two years ago, she has attended various writer's groups & retreats, learning along the way from many professional editors, journalists and published authors. She loves attending musical theatre