fringe: william the great

adelaide fringe: william the great
William the Great from French Canadian company Bête de Cirque isn't quite what I was expecting...

Most of that had to do with the casting... I'm pretty sure only one of the three guys in the image on the right was actually in the show, and the very soon to be King William was played by a local performer, Loki Rickus, who continued his acrobatic career even after an accident put him in a wheel chair.

And I'm not going to lie, he was one of the two best things about the whole show. With the aid of some very severe (but effective) make-up somewhere between Kabuki and a drag queen, he makes William just the right kind of bitch. More than once (actually pretty much any time he was on stage) I found that I was watching Loki and his eye rolls, pursed lips and side-eye when I was supposed to be watching the other performers. But while his performance with the gold hula hoops was great, I did find myself wishing he was going more... mostly because I loved watching him.

The other stand out was the MC... Romuald Solesse. Solesse is a clown in the best sense of the word... he plays with the audience, works magic and as it turns out is actually a lot more buff and athletically gifted than he first appears. But really it's his personality that shines through, whether he's flirting with the audience or doing slapstick on stage, all the way up to his act with one of the girls where he really gets to show off his acrobatic skills.

The other members of the troupe were solid on the Chinese pole, aerial straps and trapeze, but compared to the other circus acts I've seen this year, nothing really stood out as exceptional. Good, yes... exceptional, no.

But Rickus and Solesse are pretty much worth the price of admission.

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