Showtime is promoted as a Vegas-style show full of spectacle, decadence, risk and excitement. That’s perhaps a little inaccurate; it doesn’t feel quite like a Vegas show, especially in the shadow of the recent Vegas Spectacular at Her Majesty’s in January, but it is still a great value-for-money variety performance.
Held at The Octagon in Gluttony, the atmosphere was cosy with the audience up-close and personal with the stage and the five cast members.
“Justin”, MC for the evening, warmed us up with some cheesy jokes and impressive ping-pong ball “mouth juggling”. He continued as the glue between set featuring acrobatics, magic, music and hula-hoop contortionism.
The international cast includes Ruben Quan, who trained with the Beijing acrobatics school and has performed with Cirque Du Soleil. His dark, street-style acrobatics-come-dance-come-mime acts were seductive and a stand-out in the program.
Sweden’s Got Talent winner Charlie Caper treated the audience to his brand of “classy” illusionism. Watch out for the perpetually disappearing bow-tie – a source of both hilarity and frustration for the audience.
“French” chanteuse Rose wowed with her big voice and sexy ‘tude, with some poor bamboozled men ordered to watch her “ips” (hips). And watch, they did…
Finally, star of the night was Lisa Lotte, a hula-hoop champion with more than one million hits on her YouTube channel. She demonstrated great flexibility and talent with hoops, before bringing the show to a close in a fluoro finale of disco hoops that defies description.
Showtime isn’t as “big” a production as some other Fringe headliners, such as Velvet or even Papillion, but it is nonetheless a thoroughly entertaining show. It’s smaller stature and level of production is also a good reminder that Fringe is really for these types of shows – the ones that aren’t big budget, but rely on talent and charisma to entertain.
And it certainly does entertain – full of personality and pizzazz, Showtime is recommended for all ages, from big kids to, well, adult big kids.
Showtime is playing at The Octagon almost every night until March 14.