Be dazzled in a jewel of a space
‘Bijou’ brings cirque entertainment to Kalk Bay Theatre
THREE years ago, the Kalk Bay Theatre launched its festive season cirquevariety show and each show has sold out. The fourth edition, is on until January 29, anchored by Michele La Trobe.
The concept behind the festive season show goes back to variety, Musical Hall in Victorian England and Vaudeville, which spread from France to America. People would watch a compilation of acts – music, comedy, dance and speciality acts.
In Victorian England, speciality acts frequently included animals, freak acts and oddities. In the tradition of modern circus – cirque as we tend to tag it – animals and human curiosities are no longer part of the equation.
The first three Kalk Bay Theatre festive season shows invoked circus tent-quick change acts, sharp-edged with bright lighting.
For there has been a deliberate shift away from circus tent. “Bijou” is French for trinket or something precious. A bijou theatre is a theatre which is precious and charming.
Kalk Bay Theatre operators Vanessa Harris and Ash Searle have framed
as if you have stumbled into an intimate theatre in Paris – smoky, smouldering and mysterious – with a cabaret vibe and emcee acts and singing (Harris).
Offset by a sequinned the acts unfurl.
Harris said they wanted to layer the space with texture without filling it with props, so they bought a smoke machine. Within this matrix of shadows and light, one watches almost as if in a trance.
speciality acts and singing, dance-focused.
As well as to La Trobe, the other artists are Vanessa Harris and Ash Searle; Brad Searle, Hannah Hishin, Liam Tamejen Gillespie and Emily Isted.
The first act features La Trobe and Brad Searle. She is a mannequin or perhaps his plaything. Initially, she is manipulated by him but through subtle gestures, she comes to life and the object becomes human as she dominates him. Impeccably choreographed by Harris, it is a witty piece of visual theatre.
While the company is excellent,
belongs to La Trobe. This is her first time working with Followspot, the production arm of Kalk Bay Theatre, and it is wonderful to see her perform in this space.
La Trobe has danced with the Cape Youth Dance Company, Bovim Ballet and in umpteen musicals, including
She’s had her share of challenges – including a brain tumour, which was diagnosed as terminal. She is now in remission. She dazzles with a mix of ballet and athletic dance. The Kalk Bay Theatre, 52 Main Road, Kalk Bay. Tickets R180.
Open Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday. A la carte restaurant upstairs, which opens at 6.15pm. Bookings www.kalkbaytheatre. co.za or call 021 788 7257.
BRAD Searle and Michele La Trobe.