Blanc de Blanc at the Hippodrome Casino TheatreCultureTheatre
The famous London institution the Hippodrome Casino, which once hosted the illustrious Houdini in their theatre, has now taken on a group of performers who are equally skilled in the art of disappearance — just in their act, it’s clothing.
The small theatre space at the Hippodrome has an undeniable casino glamour to it: dimmed purple lights, smoky air and golden surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for Blanc de Blanc’s lascivious performance. The viewer has a choice between a seat in the stalls or a private booth with table service. The show itself feels like a night out — there is lots of dancing and even more drinking. Having received its name Blanc de Blanc from champagne, the show could equally be an advert for champagne, as the viewer is animated to (alcohol) consumerism throughout, encouraged to join in with the festivities on-stage. Even so, tipsiness does make it easier to suppress ones blushes at the raunchy scenes.
The company proclaims that, like champagne, “Blanc de Blanc offers heady top notes, followed by rich textures, a smooth body and an utterly unexpected finish”. The top notes consist of various acrobatic performances: a breakdance contortionist, a mime artist and acrobatic rock-n-roll. But unfortunately, as with champagne, these top notes are fleeting and quite literally overshadowed by the smooth body. Women in lingerie, who dance seductively through the audience, give the show an air of burlesque, yet on the whole it fails to live up to the finesse of the art form. Blanc de Blanc generally relies on the spectacle of nudity and feasts on the entertainment value of the vulgar. Corporeal objectification runs strongly throughout; the lengths the performers go to amuse their audience are admirable, with one female “sex clown” sporting a sparkler in her vagina mid-handstand.
Blanc de Blanc is a show one is unlikely to forget — it is a night out like no other, a circus that mixes spectacular performance with bare skin. That being said, it is also a show that isn’t easy to stomach.
Blanc de Blanc is on at the Hippodrome Casino Theatre from 14th July until 28th August 2016. Book your tickets here.