Hey There Hoopla, the circus is in town. However, don’t expect a big tent, animals, and clowns with big feet, but a more grown up version that is sophisticated and sexy.
Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque is opening the Australian premiere tonight at Brisbane’s Lyric Theatre, QPAC, after a three year world tour. Combining over twenty of the most skilled circus performers, all of who are professional athletes and many have performed in previous Cirque Du Soleil shows.
What makes Le Noir unique is the intimate setting where the action is right in front of you rather than a huge circus tent. With 360 Degree seating, including seating on the stage with the performers, Le Noir offers the experience of being up and close with the performers.
Our Brisbane correspondent Bobbi-Lea caught up with arts entrepreneur Simon Painter, the show’s creator to chat about this stunning production.
When asked about the original concept of the show Simon explained, “Take the twenty-five greatest circus performers in the world and put them in a sensual environment that’s very close and intimate, so you really see the darker side of the circus”.
The visual aesthetic for the production includes a spectacular lighting design that Simon proudly says is “the latest and greatest in technology. It’s a beautiful lighting rig”. The colour palette for the costumes in the show are also spectacular and progress from white, through red, to black, symbolising the innocence, the passion, and the darker side of Cirque.
However, this isn’t Simon’s first successful touring production. Le Noir rides in tandem with two other productions; the high gloss magic and illusion show called The Illusionists 2.0.
The epitome of world class magic shows, The Illusionists 2.0 currently has three versions touring the world, with one about to début on Broadway.
The other production Simon oversees is The Naked Magicians. Purposely NOT high-brow, the two very clever and very cheeky lads (Christopher Wayne and ‘Magic Mike’ Tyler) mix comedy, magic, and nudity to offer pants-down the most entertaining show of the year.
It must take a certain sort of person to brave the sketchy fiscal arts landscape as serial entertainment entrepreneur Simon has so successfully done. When asked about his own unique set of talents, it comes as a surprise that Simon was not a business student with experience in arts admin, yet always thought like a producer. He said it stems from the business idea, “What’s an idea for a show that would sell tickets?” An artist himself, Simon began his career as a twenty year-old fiddler player, touring the world with Spirit of the Dance, with an electric fiddle that they would set on fire.
With world-wide touring experience as a virtuoso performer himself, Simon now as a producer is intent on finding the best entertainers and performers and bringing them to the rest of the world.
Simon is particularly proud of two of the acts in Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque. The first features an act never before seen in Australia with Chilly and Fly who can only be described as a human flying trapeze. The second is a truly death defying act (no hype needed), with two dare devils braving the Colombian Wheel of Death. Known as one of the most dangerous circus stunts in the world, these two acrobats perform high-risk feats atop and inside a pair of spinning wheels rotating high above the stage.
Le Noir – The Dark Side of Cirque will be playing from 1–17 August at the Lyric Theatre, QPAC. For more information or bookings, visit the QPAC website: www.qpac.com.au or call 136 246.