Posts Tagged ‘la clique


Absinthe Tour le Monde


Absinthe Tour Le Monde


King George Square under the Spiegeltent

June 8 – 28 2015


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward



ABSINTHE_HandBalance (vert) ©Spiegelworld


Well! THAT HAPPENED. Absinthe Tour Le Monde is here and you might as well get carried along by the hype and go see it because you’ll never believe a single voice that says this is very possibly not the best show you’ll ever see. And that’s okay, because you should always find out for yourself if a thing is your thing.


After several seasons in NYC, a four-year sold-out residency in Las Vegas and a season on top of the Crown Casino in Melbourne, it’s Brisbane’s turn to be entertained and appalled by Spiegelworld’s Absinthe Tour le Monde. It could be the sexiest, most incredible, beautiful show in the world, trumping others of its ilk, including a good portion of Cirque’s older repertoire and the spectacular, truly sexy La Soiree, but it doesn’t come close and it clearly never wanted to be anything like its sophisticated cousins.





If you don’t like to hear the word FUCK then you are at the WRONG FUCKING SHOW.



HA! THAT SETS THE TONE. This show is a seductive, double-headed creature that won’t bite until you get too close to get away. And I mean that literally. In Brisbane the beautiful old-world Spiegeltent seats a crammed 700 so good luck getting outta’ there if you’re offended! Or you suddenly decide that you probs should NOT have brought the 15-year-old despite assurances that it’s suitable for 15+ (What are the mummy bloggers saying about Absinthe? I assure you it’s more appropriately rated 18+ but whatevs. You parent your children your way). Of course, the trick is to drink enough in the garden bar before the show to be carried along by the raucous laughter of the lowest common denominator. If you need to be carried out of there you’ve probs had just enough. CHEERS.






You might decide it’s worth cringing and gasping through the puerile comedy for the sake of the superb acts. The artists are some of the best in the world, there’s no doubt about that, but the bits in between? Well, you’ll have to make up your own mind about this brand of humour. If you’re smack bang in the middle of the target demographic, what I say won’t make a difference to your experience of the show. YOU’LL LOVE IT! But you should know that I’m that person at a party who leaves the party before the last line is snorted, rather than stay past 2am to hear the sort of drunken misogynist, racist, ego-driven drivel we hear from the Gazillionaire and his crass assistant, Abby Bobbins. Of course it’s all an act (OR IS IT?). I know. I’m missing the point.









I’ve never understood the appeal of saying something offensive to get a rise out of people. Or shocking the shit out of audiences with extreme/extremely ridiculous sexual fantasies about unicorns with flaccid penises on their heads that become… no, I can’t even tell you the rest. Like most of the hosts’ segments, this story starts out in a vaguely alluring, mildly amusing manner and then Abby takes it too far. Oh! This is what they mean by “risqué”. I see… I see some audience members on opening night looking a little uncomfortable, and laughing because UNCOMFORTABLE. The other six hundred and seventy-three punters are genuinely laughing to bring the Spiegeltent roof down. WHO ARE YOU PEOPLE?






The insults that fly from the Gazillionaire’s mouth are not cleverly subversive, his attitude and his manner are not hip and edgy, and there’s nothing new or insightful or witty or brilliant about any of the racial and religious slurs or cruel observations of audience members. (The inclusion of a lap dance competition is an awkward epic fail on opening night, laughable for all the wrong reasons. BUT EACH PARTICIPANT FROM THE AUDIENCE SCORES A FREE DRINK. SO THAT’S ENTERTAINING ISN’T IT?).


Just as he is supposed to be, Gaz is a filthy-rich, downright filthy philistine, homophobic, sexist and racist. These traits are supposed to be the basis of the character’s appeal. Call me old fashioned or new age or naive, but I don’t see whom this subterranean level of disrespect serves.



For those of us who stay sober throughout the generous pre-show proceedings on opening night, both hosts are offensive and tedious. #ishouldhavedrunkmorechampagne






We suffer through the cheap banter because the skilled artists performing incredible acts of balance and strength and poise are absolutely thrilling to watch, especially at such close range, and they deserve our respect. Likewise, the iconic Kylie-esque Green Fairy (WAAPA graduate, Karla Tonkich) is fabulously raunchy in her tattered wings and very little else, and in fine voice.






Other highlights include the stunning duo straps routine performed with extraordinary elegance and romance by Maika Isogawa and Jacob Oberman, and the sexy schoolgirl – and by sexy schoolgirl I mean hold-your-breath-holy-double-hotness-batman – aerial hoop duo from Germany, Laura von Bongard & Luka Clayborn. The Frat Pack (Paul Lopez, Paul Resell & Olesky Snarskyy) defies gravity on the High Wire, Andrei Sizonenka & Aliasandra Yurkavets defy death, hurling themselves across the horizontal bars, and Gaz’s gorgeous bodyguards (Michael Nowosadko & Zbignew Sobierajski) perform a nonchalant strip and an incredible hand balance routine, the ultimate in precision, strength and control. With over 70 amazing circus artists on his books, Ross Mollison knows how to pick a winner. But it’s clear he doesn’t believe the acts are enough.




Originally directed by Australia’s Wayne Harrison, Absinthe Tour le Monde is a little bit of evil genius with all the mechanisms in place to ensure it will continue to conquer the world. It’s a magic formula that obviously appeals to the masses. I ‘reckon that even if you realise you hate the same crass and unapologetically politically incorrect parts that I find unnecessary, you’ll prefer to remember you loved it. It’s easier. IT’S SO MUCH EASIER THAN BOTHERING TO EXPLAIN WHAT MISSED THE MARK. TRUST ME.




If you haven’t booked your tix yet for Absinthe Tour le Monde, I suggest you pay top dollar to sit ringside, do the whole experience properly (get properly drunk), and proclaim its brilliance. Everybody else is!





La Soiree


La Soiree

Featuring the stars of La Clique

Brisbane Festival

Courier Mail Spiegeltent

8th – 29th September 2012


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward



David O'Mer La Soiree


This is, without a doubt, the sexiest show you’ll see this Brisbane Festival. It’s my pick of the festival program and if you think something else can top it, you’d better let me know.


I would have posted my response to the show earlier, only I was still at the Brisbane Writers Festival yesterday, and today devouring a block of Lindt Chili Dark Chocolate in front of YouTube clips of the acts that make up this smash hit international success (don’t for a second think that the video footage will suffice. You must see these performers LIVE).



Within the intimate and glorious surrounds of the famous Courier Mail Spiegeltent, cabaret, circus, burlesque and comedy combine to titillate and tease a turned-on, ramped-up audience, offering tricks and toned bodies that have to be seen to be believed. It’s sheer fun (and games and look, it’s pointless labelling any of these guys Greek Gods; two in particular trump that title and have us chomping at the bit after just a glimpse of rippling muscle!). Ladies and gents, look out! In case you haven’t heard, this adults-only, world-class, Olivier Award winning show is hot, hot, HOT!


Up close and personal, the Master of Ceremonies welcomes us in ratchet tones, a scratchy voice after just one show (we saw the 9:30pm performance on opening night) and promises the night of our lives. Thanks to creator, Brett Barnum-Bailey-in-a-previous-life Haylock and the ever-evolving members of La Clique, La Soiree delivers, in abundance, on every level. There is nothing to fault here and everything to love…and lust after.


The English GentsDenis Lock and Hamish McCann – perform stylish and impressive feats of strength, control and balance to rival Cirque du Soleil’s best acrobats, all the while maintaining a very British stiff upper lip. At first, we marvel at their ability to perform fantastical feats in their pinstriped suits and bowler hats. Then we marvel at the incredible physiques underneath those suits. Yes, there were gasps from the audience. These two set the bar high and they leave us wanting more.


More comes in the comical form of New Yorker, Nate Cooper, in his Australian debut; a Charlie Chaplin inspired roller-skating act (and by roller-skating I mean tap-dancing in roller skates and not altogether successfully. Visions of Barbra Streisand’s Fanny Brice come to mind). Cooper is dressed in a surprisingly slinky number, which is revealed in a parody of the previous strip. Cooper’s antics are hilarious and my cheeks begin to ache after about half a minute into the act, long before he gets to the crux of it. He adds to his beauty queen outfit a red bobbed wig and a pair of ridiculously high Priscilla style platform shoes, in which he climbs up onto a pogo stick and commences jumping and juggling machetes. It’s insane. Do NOT try it at home.


The absolutely gorgeous Amy G has an extraordinary skill set that I’m not sure I envy but I’m certainly impressed by it! Her kazoo playing ability is off the charts but don’t try explaining it to the kids over bacon and eggs the next morning. Ursula Martinez performs the most entertaining and original strip you’re likely to see in a Queensland venue, combining effortlessly, sleight of hand and the art of tease. Martinez is gregarious, hilarious, mischievous and completely shameless. Hers is a brand of sizzling adult entertainment that is naughty, classy and irresistibly, deliciously funny. You can get a sneak peak here but only if you’re over eighteen.


Amy G and the English Gents

La Clique’s La Soiree performers Amy G, Denis Lock and Hamish McCann. Picture: Chris McCormack Source: The Courier-Mail


Andrew Sisters styled (Brisbane based ex-Circus Oz performer), Jess Love, takes to task a mass of hula-hoops and the lovely Miss Flee flies above us in a graceful and soulful trapeze. We’ve seen Martinez and Amy G pull props from all over the place but this rather more delicate act is enhanced by a parasol hung high in the air, overturning to let a cascade of tiny white feathers drift down over the audience in strange slow motion, like a moment from a Baz Luhrmann scene, at once slowing the pace and softening the tone of the show. In design also (and to its benefit), La Soiree appears to draw on a little Luhrmann (or, more accurately, a little Catherine Martin).


The return of each of The English Gents builds momentum again and makes us wonder, what do these guys EAT and where do they work out so we can WATCH? Lock reveals a fine singing voice and Japanese sensibilities, including the admirable feat of looking just as attractive as a fully clothed Geisha as a Sumo wrestler (the trimmest ever). McCann returns to put the world’s top female pole dancers to shame, stunning us with his arm and core strength. Spiderman’s got nothin’ on this guy, who walks up and across imaginary walls.




The dynamic cabaret diva, Meow Meow, almost steals the show with her Bette Midler meets Eartha Kitt meets Ab Fab usual fare. She’s the all-time favourite on the circuit and it’s not hard to see (and hear) why. This woman is all woman and then some, absolutely able to blow you away with her sensational style and special brand of seductive tragi-comedy. Her guest chorus and their Barbie choreography gets a giggle too.


But what’s a show without a grand finale? And boy oh Bathboy, has this show got it! Berlin born gymnast David O’Mer, aka “the Adonis in denim” (or, as my friend very cleverly commented, “catnip for women”), appears as any self-respecting modern day merman would, from a claw-foot bath, placed centre stage by the English Gents (it then becomes integral to his aerial ballet – the wettest and cheekiest strap act you’ll see). Clad in black skinny jeans, O’Mer is the epitome of male beauty, strength and coordination, regardless of your sexual orientation or passion or apathy for the subject. In fact, in light of the many and varied responses across the social media platforms to my previous comments about viewing male bodies on stage, I have to say that if you’re tempted to argue that the form or the look is unimportant, make sure you’ve seen the show and calmed down first. This is, as The Age acknowledges, the sexiest act around. Get a coveted (and slightly scary, in that awesome, unexpected random sexual encounter kinda’ way) Premium front row (ringside) seat if you can. I could say I bet you’ll get wet but it might come across as crass so I won’t.


La Soiree is to-die-for. It’s devastatingly funny and sexy, it’s witty, trashy and sophisticated all at once, like a bandaid worn under a Louboutin, and most importantly, it’s the best kind of European styled adult entertainment available in Brisvegas for just a very short time. You’d have to be stark raving mad to miss it!


David O'Mar Bathboy