Let’s start at the end. And by the fact that the room, heated to block, was conquered in advance. A clear advantage for the Australian master of ceremonies Shivanana, who co-hosted the evening with our national drag Barbada. An effective tandem, despite an endless introduction…
After all the usual salamalecs, enumerations of rules, evocations of the First Nations and awareness of the present moment (?!), the drags of Briefs Factory made their entrance on stage, covered in satin pink bathrobes and armed with huge kitty washcloths! The public could not have hoped for a better appetizer.
The sequel will essentially consist of performing small acts while undressing. Bubble (foam) machines included. We’re doing it in a rush here.
Once again, remember that the venue is in solidarity with these artists that it supports at all costs and that the Gin fizz, Cosmopolitan and other Martinis follow each other, magnifying the numbers… quite basic. Indeed, apart from a number with the aerial hoop and another with the straps – both very good and even quite original – the other numbers are not particularly striking.
This does not detract from the highly entertaining character of this naughty cabaret, with its charismatic Australian Chippendales, which here celebrates much more sexual diversity, the art of drag and luxurious humor. It is true that he is handsome, Louis, I grant you that.
A final word on Barbada. His presence alongside Shivanana (Fez Faanana) proved beneficial for Briefs Factory. Especially in his most caustic interventions; his humor blended perfectly with that of the troupe, who washed their dirty laundry in full view of everyone. All this to the delight of the public. You know why ? Because you have to remove your panties to put them in the wash.
Earlier in the evening, Cirque Alfonse brought back its popular cabaret Barbu, a show created in Montreal in 2014 and which has since been presented all over Europe, including more than a hundred times in London.
After all these years, the band of Saint-Alphonse-Rodriguez led by Antoine Carabinier Lépine has not said its last word. The artists of the original version have certainly aged – Antoine, Gen Morin, Jonathan Casaubon, Lucas Jolly and Guillaume Saladin, also founder of Artcirq in Igloolik – but they still have good arms and above all heart in their stomachs.
Above all, above all, they have a sense of spectacle. Because even if they struggle to perform certain numbers, their cabaret is highly entertaining.
Rhythmed by the electro-trad music of David Simard and his band, Barbu has retained its freak character. Thanks to the strange presence of Lucas-the-mentalist (Lucas Jolly) or even the female wrestling match – Gen Morin and a newcomer, the American Laura Lippert, who will also do an aerial hair suspension number and again who will lie down on a studded bed…
Antoine Carabinier Lépine, wearing a disco ball around his waist, performs his amazing Cyr wheel act for us before having fun with Guillaume Saladin with ping-pong balls – which they spit into their mouths.
Alfonse had to recruit a few artists – some of the original bearded ones having disappeared into the wild. Besides the very charismatic Laura Lippert, the Korean board specialist Ugo Dario has been hired for this series. He was perfect in his balancing act – executed with golf clubs.
Following an injury a few days ago, the troupe also had to replace Jonathan Casaubon. Australian Tom Flanagan, a friend of the company – who didn’t have time to grow a beard – jumped into the fray. It arrived two days ago, a feat in itself.
Montreal completely circus had promised us contrasting proposals, which put forward all the diversity of what is done in circus. With The Pulse, and now Barbu and Dirty Laundry, it’s off to a good start.