Posts Tagged Burlesque

The Invisible Circus

In 2008, at one of the lowest points in my life, I had one of the most amazing experiences when a dear friend convinced me to go on an adventure with her to an event called Carny Ville in Bristol.

I had little idea what to expect, except that my love of steampunkery would be more than catered for, so we got dressed up an off we went to Bridewell Island.

The moment I stepped into the courtyard I was blown away, I felt as if I had been transported to my idea of heaven. There were flaming Victorian streetlights, a lovely gender-blending paper boy, a flaming moving piano, a punk barn dance collective called Cut a Shine (who to this day I try to see as often as possible!), amazing punky aerial displays above ridiculously small crash mats, the Glitzy Bag Hags who scrambled my brain with a song about doing naughty things with David Hasslehoff, hoopers and a gentleman charlaton trying to hypnotise us. It was incredible.

Now three years later in London, I heard that there was a film being screened about The Invisible Circus, the collective who had put on this amazing event, so with just a few hours notice I found myself turning up at the Channel 4 building after work.

The film is called Invisible Circus: No Dress Rehearsal and follows the story of the fabulously talented, creative and hardworking group, from squats to private buildings and all of the events leading up to that amazing night at Carny Ville.

I urge everyone to see this film, to see how hard people will work, and to what lengths they will go when they are driven by an all consuming passion to create something magical. Watching the film brought the back the feelings of awe and excitement I had felt that night; I hope that someday I will feel that again.

Whenever and wherever The Invisible Circus next appears I will be there to play and cheer them on.



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A Kind of Corporate Chaos

Imagine someone took reality, shook it about a bit and dropped you into a universe that was similar, but somehow completely different to the one you normally inhabit.

This is immersive theatre.

Last night I was lucky enough to go to the Office Party at the fictional company Product Solutions, and it involved every kind of over-the-top office party drama you could imagine and many you wouldn’t.

Instead of passively watching the audience is subsumed into the company, given ID badges and allocated to different departments at this wonderful site-specific venue. Before long an elaborate story unfolds drawing the audience into the fray as things become more challenging and surreal.

Let the Games Begin

Not one for spoilers; if you have never experienced immersive theatre before this event is something special and I strongly recommend giving it a go. I may just make my way there again before the end of the run in January.

Motivational Speaker?

If you can’t make this event, but like your entertainment to be challenging do try to find something immersive, it’ll change the way you look at theatre for good.

I do caution that this is not likely to be enjoyed by reserved people who do not like to get involved, or find burlesque a bit too much. This event is about as loud and raucous as it gets, and as there is nowhere to run you have to just suspend your disbelief and go for it.

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Have you seen The Kitten Club?

If not please remedy this as soon as you are able, unless you are allergic to laughing your socks off, or too young to get into a bar.

If you have let them know I think they are awesome and I wish them all the success they deserve.

I have seen these brilliant ladies on two separate occasions now and I can confirm that they are a hilarious and very talented and much better value than your average burlesque troop.

Yes there are the very sexy outfits, and the amazing singing and the brilliantly naughty stripping, but who would have expected the laugh-until-you-cry magic trick involving a banana being confused with a bandana, or the interactive story that plunges head first into the bizarre dragging the audience with it?

Go on have a brilliant night out.

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