[20060001] The Candy Butchers – A Circus Sweetmeat

The Candy Butchers – A Circus Sweetmeat

The Candy Butchers @ The Umbrella Revolution

10:00pm (more like 10:45), Tue 21 Feb 2006

Score: 6

Entering the Umbrella Revolution for the first time this Fringe, we notice that there’s an abundance of fairy floss… either pay $3 for some during the seating spruik, or be lucky enough to grab some as it’s flung into the crowd during the show.

The Candy Butchers have produced a theatrical acrobatic show reminiscent of so many that have gone before it in the Umbrella Revolution (Acrobat being the most notable). There’s tumbling, some hoop hijinks, some fantastic balancing acts, and a little trapeze work; it’s all presented within a framework of slapstick, pantomime, with a cute bit of fairy floss striptease thrown in.

The ramshackle nature of this show is both its charm and its failing; the sloppiness of some of the moves & routines suits the imprecision of the show in a way. However, where a show like Acrobat was gritty to the core, The Candy Butchers are merely grubby – there’s a feeling that the in-your-face brashness is just a thin veneer over a mishmash of acts. The ending, in particular, was disappointing – it was the kind of whimsical abstract bullshit that you’d expect from Cirque du Soleil.

Talented performers, yes. Enjoyable enough – well, yeah, and more than a few in the audience deemed the show standing-ovation-worthy. For me, the most exciting bit (after the outstanding balancing act) was the realisation that they were using a somewhat obscure PainKiller track as backing music. But that’s not really enough; The Candy Butchers are hardly essential viewing.

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