Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Highlights from the Fringe: Day 2 - Velvet

After Hitch! (see previous post) the friends I was with were moving onto a music launch and we arranged to meet up again at midnight at Underbelly Cowgate for Pole (post to follow). La Clique and The Famous Spiegeltent's cabaret show Velvet had been recommended to me by a couple of circus friends up there, so I decided to leg it across town and see if I could get in. As I approached the entrance my chances didn’t look good. The show had already started, almost half an hour ago, and there were girls on the door, the type who always seem to shower my other half with smiles while drowning me in the proverbial ice bucket. And this time I was on my own.

As predicted, a polite and tentative enquiry invited an immediate and negative response. But a year training in circus has taught me not to give up so easily, while an evening at Hitch! steeled my resolve, and either one of the girls alerted back-up, or the determination in my voice carried, as out of nowhere a male bouncer materialised, sold me a ticket and ushered me in.  It was a win-win situation for us all - I got to see the show, and they got my business and undying gratitude. 

Standing room only gave me a clear view of the stage. I grabbed a drink at the bar, established the policy on taking photos (“well, we’ve never heard anything to say you can’t”) and relaxed into the evening ahead, still pinching myself, Alice in this Wonderland of “disco delirium”. Here I was in Edinburgh on Saturday night with one of the most lively, upbeat audiences in town simply bent on having a cracking evening out while thumpingly good tracks being belted out.

Hoops of Fun
The Human Slinky
The evening was styled on 70s disco, inspired by Studio 54, a club renowned for hedonistic orgies of fun where anything and everyone goes, full of glitter and colour, just the ticket to revive this flagging magpie here. I caught the end of some great hand-balancing, then saw Craig “The Incredible Hula Boy” Reid, a legend in certain circles, especially when they light up with every colour under the sun and he morphs into  regular rainbow human slinky, single-handedly carrying the act into the air. I marvelled at the magnetic personality, and mahogany charms, of Ms Perle Noire, never have I seen a pair of pasties bounce with such glorious joie de vivre. The exquisite female aerialist working the hoop in Louboutins, later donning a gimp mask and pvc, to dominate a sleek duet on chains, was obviously a crowd-pleaser, while I’ll admit a soft spot for the strikingly sexy soloist on straps set to the ultimate disco anthem “It’s Raining Men”. Pepped up on Motown and Mojo, I stepped out into the streets to find the heavens opened, like a mirror to my sequinned soul. God bless Mother Nature, she's a single woman too …

Thanks La Clique! 

Tickets still available for tonight (Wednesday) and Saturday 30 August

Circus and cabaret  performers:
Craig Reid - Hula hoop
Stephen Williams - Aerial (Straps and Chains)
Perle Noire - Queen of Burlesque
Mirko Köckenberger - Handstands
Emma Goh - Aerial (Hoop, Chains, Rope)

Musical director: Joe Accaria

Marcia Hines
Brendan Maclean 

Backing vocals and dancers:
Chaska Halliday
Rechelle Mansour

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