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Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - Tanya MacNaughton

THE scene is set for the big­gest Fringe World Fes­ti­val yet and La Soiree has re­joined the party af­ter last year’s sell-out Perth de­but sea­son.

The cabaret show comes di­rect from 12 weeks in Lon­don with mem­o­rable strong men The English Gents and con­tor­tion­ist Cap­tain Frodo, along­side new faces in­clud­ing jug­gler Mario, Queen of the Cir­cus, aerial artist Yam­mel Ro­driguez and singer Miss Frisky (half of Fringe favourites Frisky and Man­nish).

Mario, Queen of the Cir­cus, aka Clarke McFarlane, from New York, is a tal­ented, leather-clad rein­car­na­tion of Fred­die Mer­cury who is a big fan of the late singer and per­forms his act to the hits of Queen.

Last in Perth for the Fre­man­tle Buskers Fes­ti­val, McFarlane cre­ated the al­ter-ego for off-Broad­way show Planet Ba­nana with his wife, but took Mario solo in 2005 af­ter their di­vorce.

McFarlane first per­formed in La Soiree al­most nine years ago and has since been hon­oured with ap­proval from Queen lead gui­tarist Brian May.

“He got wind when we were on Lon­don’s West End that there was some­thing to do with Queen in it,” McFarlane said.

“I met his lawyers first, who came to the show, and then he turned up, Jan­uary 2, 2009, the first time and then this year he came to our press night.

“The first time I was su­per ner­vous and didn't know how he was go­ing to re­act; afraid he was go­ing to stand up and can­cel the show.

“I don’t think I’m mak­ing fun of it but at the same time, there is a bit of silli­ness to the way I use the mu­sic.”

Pic­tures: Will Rus­sell

The English Gents In­set: Yam­mel Ro­driguez.

Mario, Queen of the Cir­cus

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