BWW Review: CLUB SWIZZLE at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival Centre

BWW Review: CLUB SWIZZLE at Space Theatre, Adelaide Festival CentreReviewed by Barry Lenny, Thursday 14th December 2017.

It's back. Club Swizzle was a great hit with Adelaide audiences the first time around and so it was inevitable that it would return. With perfect timing, it arrives to become a sensational Christmas treat, and a packed house was exactly what I expected. Creative producer, Brett Haylock (La Clique, La Soiree), brought Club Swizzle to Adelaide at the very end of 2015, running into 2016, and two years was a long time to wait for a second visit.

Ensuring that we arrived early enough to be amongst the first to go in when the doors opened, my guest and I were fortunate in getting seats at the cocktail bar, where gin or vodka cocktails, or glasses of Pol Roger Champagne could be purchased. This bar is the centrepiece of the performance, closing and very cleverly transforming into the stage, returning to its function as a bar during the interval. When the show begins, the patrons at the bar are then seated at tables close to the stage.

In the half hour before the performance, cast members mix and mingle with the audience and then, with the band, Mikey and the Nightcaps, providing a fast tempo accompaniment, and as the bar transforms into the stage, the four Swizzle Boys, Joren Dawson, Will Underwood, Ben Lewis, and Simon McClure, swing into action, clearing away the bar seats by tossing them around to each other in a display of skill. These four appear between each of the other acts, making them the largest part of the show. Aside from displays of acrobatics, they cover a wide range of activities, from balancing acts, to pole work, to aerial silks. They are extremely talented and versatile.

The Master of Ceremonies is that flamboyant international cabaret superstar, Reuben Kaye, who had the audience in the palm of his hand from the moment that he appeared. Singing up a storm, and offering plenty of politically incorrect humour, he made a perfect host for this high octane production.

Burlesque diva, Laurie Hagen, contributed several segments, including an hilarious 'drunken' striptease, and her famous and very clever reverse striptease. She is a consummate performer with links to traditional burlesque as well as to the subversive German Kabarett, influenced by Dadaism.

Shay Horay announced that he holds the Guinness world record for the must rubber bands on a person's face, and a large ball of bright yellow bands hanging at his waist suggested that we were in for a lengthy sitting as he recreated the feat. Instead, he used only a few to create grotesque distortions of his face. It amused the audience to some degree and was, thankfully, brief.

Frédérique Cournoyer Lessard performed on the aerial ring, and a stunningly beautiful performance it was, too. It might well be described as ballet in midair, such is the exquisite display of her remarkable skills, and adds a contrasting moment of calm to the otherwise marvellously frenetic evening.

The production is here until the end of December, but you will need to be quick off the mark to get a ticket. Don't delay for a second.

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