This is a wild and wacky experience of burlesque, cabaret and circus. It had me on tenter-hooks, smiling, clapping and screaming throughout. A spectacle for the eyes and ears and an insight into the trans body, homoeroticism and the human form.
The show is arranged into short segments where each of the performers showcased their particular weird and wonderful talents. Some of the highlights: an attractive man who performed some amazing feats of body strength – swivelling himself up on a ribbon and doing a handstand on three trays layered on an empty bottle of alcohol. One woman performed two deeply intense skits; one in which she wore a glamorous white gown and held a bowl of red substance reminiscent of blood. She vibrated and convulsed as she spooned the liquid into her mouth and dripped it over her body and gown. The performance became more and more electric until the bowl was tipped over her mouth and chest entirely and she ripped the dress from herself to reveal a beautiful transitioned body.
Two girls worked in unison performing acrobatic stunts as they swung from the ceiling. Their bodies interlocked and smoothly intersected one another to produce an impressive and erotic demonstration of the capacities of the female form. They also embroiled two members of the audience and seamlessly incorporated them into one of their performances, which was embarrassing whilst hilarious and very impressive. The show was also sprinkled with the appearance of a sassy gay man with a wry sense of humour, dressed in an electric blue bunny costume and high heels who strutted around the stage with magnificent presence.
The whole show proved to be a cocktail of sex, comedy, and the absurd in a way that was brilliantly self-aware. A lot of the acts saw the performers drinking alcohol which reflected nicely the atmosphere of inebriation. Some of the performers had smiles so Cheshire-like they verged on the grotesque and the compare contorted his face using elastic bands to unsettled cheers from the audience. All of this made for a riveting visual experience.
A nod of approval needs to go out to the venue too. Speigeltent is wonderfully opulent, with a circular stage surrounded by colourful materials and windows and stewards dressed in beautiful gowns which seem to transport you to an era of decadence and plenitude. Surrounding the tent are bars and food venues with a similarly vibrant atmosphere, providing the cherry to this wonderfully bizarre burlesque gateau.
Before the show you can enjoy a four-course meal was an exquisite array of dishes in a warm and friendly setting – a truly pleasant experience. The food is provided by Sam's of Brighton, situated in the heart of Kemp Town village. On-the-ball and very attentive service in a gently lit, draped white tent. The whole dining experience is a real treat.