Looking back on my 26 years, I don’t have too many good memories that involve the circus.
There was that horrible travelling show with the two depressed male lions that I remember, which used to tour parts of the Central Coast when I was growing up. Then there was this TV commercial I can recall with some footage of a monkey riding a horse…
It’s weird that that’s all I had in the memory bank considering how magical the circus is often portrayed, but as of last week, for better or worse, all I’ll ever think about now when someone drops the C word is Absinthe.
That’s referring to the hit cabaret-styled circus show on at the Spiegeltent in Hyde Park running until October 25.
To a lay person like me, there’s not much about this show which didn’t dazzle. From strong men to acrobats, tight rope walkers to a comedy routine – it had the perfect mix of talent, physicality, beauty and artistry. Just take a look…
The night is a full-on, foul mouthed, R-rated ordeal created, curated or produced or whatever by a character who goes by the name of the Gazillionaire – the “filthy rich, and just plain filthy” host of the evening. He appears on the stage to start the night, dressed in an ill-fitting suit, seemingly determined to push the crowd to their ‘censory’ limits.
Although you might be turned off by this kind of chat, I’d venture that it’s not nearly as bad as it sounds. The show was made much more enjoyable and the casual racism, homophobia and misogyny slightly bearable thanks to some great participation from the audience in the form of self-depricating lap dances and strip teases.
After the show ended I stuck around for the meet and greet to speak to the Gazillionaire.
“How do you reconcile some of the things that you say throughout the show? Some of it’s so funny, but some of it’s so offensive. You as performers and as individuals, where do you draw the line?”, I asked just a little bit curious about what it’s like to be so vulgar all the time.
There was a moment of silence and then the Gazillionaire spoke…
“Well…I live a certain lifestyle of cocaine, caviar and models so this is just kind of like, how I see the world and if someone doesn’t like it, fuck ‘em. I already have their money.”
Penny, his sidekick, jumped in, “The great thing about being here is that if someone doesn’t like it they can stand up and just go, ‘Fuck you, asshole!’ And there’s that sort of interaction.”
Absinthe runs until October 25 and I highly recommend you book your tickets today!