Sunday, January 23, 2011

I have an enduring fascination with old-time music hall entertainment. Fuelled slightly by Douglas Maxwell's Variety, more substantially by Anthony Neilson's Edward Gant's Amazing Feats of Loneliness and more substantially still by a rather smashing book by Glen David Gould. So I'm always happy to attend some sort of loosely themed theatrical event in this vein, secure in the knowledge that there's certain to be at least some small element of the performance that will capture my imagination.

I was consequently delighted to have an excuse (in the name of Chris Allan) to attend last night's Vintage Cabaret by Les Amis D'Onno. And indeed there were plenty of small elements that captured my imagination.

Such as:
  • horrifying knife throwing
  • a performing dog
  • fire eating
  • juggling with eggs
  • a performing dog
  • whip action, lashing bottles from a box top and heads from poor ill-fated red roses
  • a geisha girl balancing atop a giant ball
  • a feisty frisky rabbit
  • an frisky acrobat
  • a performing dog
  • a unicycling monkey
  • some delicate singing
  • a strong man (Chris) who lifted a girl by her hair (eeooooowww)
  • and did I mention the performing dog?
In true music hall fashion, most of these performers turned out to be related to each other. Son threw knives at be-corseted mother, for example. Imagine the strain on the familial bond if he missed. Which apparently only happened once.

And as the icing on the music(h)al cake, I got to pretend (in my head at least) to be a part of the happy band for all of 27 minutes as I helped them tidy up afterwards. Taking the hoover to the stage-side jumble of rose petals and confetti (flung out from the geisha's umbrella) would have been too much like sucking the magic out of the night for my liking. Luckily, I got to wash up.


Blogger Neil said...

Sounds awesome. Shame I missed it. Still, it's not every day you get to stand in a square foot of mud for seven hours from 7am on a Sunday in the name of art...

10:28 am  

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