Hostess Abigail Collins
An enthusiastic audience rolled up to the big top in Chapelfield Gardens last night for a raunchy but spectacular blend of circus and cabaret. Hosted by the exuberant Abigail Collins we were treated to a series of breathtaking stunts and some dazzling burlesque. We saw gravity-defying rope skills from Jamie-Lee McNaughton and some impossibly implausible elevated handset balancing from Natasha Rushbrooke, and a particularly enjoyable hoop routine from Australian Annabel Carberry, determined to enjoy a glass of wine while keeping all the hoops spinning.
Colombian Diego F Martinez soared over the stage with little more than some lengths of chain and a set of pink high heels to support him as he twirled and posed above the appreciative crowd, while German duo Forma Fortis gave a surprisingly calming display of elegant dual gymnastics while dressed as if they were heading for a Status Quo gig. Fern Carpenter, Director of the Norwich Central School of Dancing and Performing Arts gave us a nostalgic and perfectly executed tap routine.
Burlesque star Vendetta Vain whetted our appetites in the first half with a cheesy routine – no, a routine that featured cheese! I may never unwrap a Baby Bel again without blushing, but with her second act routine she drew the biggest gasps of the night from the audience. Her infamous trapeze and dance routine ‘Butterface’ is perhaps a comment on how we look at women’s bodies rather than faces, but is also an impressive display of skills. She reverses the circus tradition where the face is always visible but the body covered, and yes, butter is involved too.
The big top is in Chapelfield for two more days with family friendly shows that promise great excitement, and with another late night cabaret show tonight (Saturday 14th) for those who like some extra spice (or even dairy products) with their late night pint. Tickets are £12/£7.5
Go to www.circusnorwich.co.uk for more information.