Blanc de Blanc at the Hippodrome casino is a sassy combination of smut and sparkle

 
Melissa York
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Blanc de Blanc is devised by highly-acclaimed Australian theatre company Strut & Fret
Blanc de Blanc
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The Hippodrome Casino doesn’t exactly have a surfeit of cultural kudos. But hidden in its depths is a cosy cabaret theatre and its latest show is a sassy combination of smut and sparkle.

Blanc de Blanc is devised by highly-acclaimed Australian theatre company Strut & Fret and transfers to the West End via the Sydney Opera House. I imagine this bawdy – not to mention considerably naked – production prompted a few walkouts, but for the Hippodrome’s late night punters, it’s perfect.

On the surface, the show’s inspired by 1930s Parisian cabaret, but its cheekier undertones also swipe at the mainstream success of Cirque du Soleil. With make up smudged across their faces and glazed stares, its cast look like Moulin Rouge dancers, only drunk and caught in the rain.

But they come from all over the world, armed with an impressive array of skills, from contortionist urban dance to bawdy burlesque, frenetic mime to furious hula-hooping. Be warned – when they’re not showcasing, they’re diving over audience members in various states of undress.

This is all compered by Monsieur Romeo, a henchman/Frenchman who spends most of the evening pretending to ejaculate champagne over the crowd or rubbing his bare chest in a swimming pool sunken into the stage.

It all makes for a camp, high octane night that’s certainly not for the easily offended; I overheard one audience member say: “I’m going to Skype my dad later and tell him I saw someone light a firework in a dancer’s arse.”

If that doesn’t pique your curiosity, maybe you should just stick to Aladdin.

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