Club Swizzle is the latest circus/cabaret show from the team behind La Soirée and La Clique. It uses the (well-worn) recipe of sexy circus with other acts, in a variety show format. Audiences go with this arrangement; it’s easy watching, with sprinkles of comedy and has something for everyone.
Swizzle uses drinking booze to set the shows style and design, with the stage becoming a bar before and at interval, and the barman going from drink serving lads (good drink sales plan here), to top-notch acrobatics – The Swizzle Boys. These guys do well, and blow us all away with their flips, high wire routines, balancing, pole work, hoop jumping and the rest of the fare; and it is their energy and spunk which drives this show along.
MC Murray Hill, billed as “the hardest working middle-aged man in show business, direct from New York” is just right. Drag King Master or transgender, never quite revealed, but its OK to think about that one, as he throws in a few jokes himself re: gender and sexuality, and whatever is cool anyway. There is an audience included segment he conducts that goes on a tad too long; but as usual when unsuspecting people are pulled out of the crowd – it becomes a crowd amuser with a few laughs.
The bar theme includes steady pushes from our MC for us to drink up and buy more, which copped a bit of quiet flak from the people sitting around me – “don’t push us to drink, please; and what about some safe drinking messages also, re: this time of year.”
Vocalist Ali McGregor is dynamite. Wow! What a voice! Her take on ‘Creep’ by Radiohead is incredible; spine-chilling and dripping with theatrics (the on-a-swing segment’s a nice touch indeed), it really shows what talent and range this sultry gal with an awesome sound has.
Russian acrobat Valerie Murzak is so flexible; amazing how she does those bends while balancing on a giant disco ball. Dandy Wellington gives us a few good numbers and a tap dance bonus, and award-winning burlesque performer Laurie Hagar brings an edgy twist of sexy and weird to the line-up, with a kooky strip and robotic flexing dance. The band Mikey and The Nightcaps are a fabulous addition, contributing much to the success of this show.
Swizzle is a good night out. And if you haven’t seen as many of this form of show getting around as I have in recent years (last Adelaide Fringe had oodles), you will be into it big-time! It’s easy to be when it works; Swizzle does. If you have seen some of the more incredible big touring ones (that use this format) you may end up comparing this one (as I did), and that’s OK too. It’s show biz, as our MC says. Anyway, cheers and Happy New Year!