Review: Spiegel: Heart of the Fringe By The Establishment with Beach Without Sand

Posted On 12 May 2022 at 10:46 am

I arrived at this show knowing only that the hilarious duo, The Establishment, were hosting this evening of cabaret and clowning. I knew they would have a good selection of acts on and I was not disappointed. After the audience were suitably warmed up by the Financial Times wielding, pinstriped pair they brought on one glorious act after another, interspersed with their own eccentric skits – watch out for the time-travelling cricket bowler.

A rather extraordinary contortionist, Twisted Nymph, caused gasps and astonishment all around. I hope I catch this act again as I am not sure it all made sense. Kind of messed with my brain a little bit.

Next up was Aidan Sadler. If you like 80s pop music, or even if you don’t, I would recommend seeing this very charismatic performer. Aiden looked amazing, sounded incredible and made everyone smile. Queer, funny, loud, gorgeous!

Another act that really didn’t compute was The Wrong Number. I had no point of reference for what I witnessed. It was a bizarre ten minutes or so that left me wondering what the hell had just happened. I saw a human and heard a voice but beyond that I didn’t really understand what I was seeing. Worth investigating further…

Laurie Black, my favourite luminous goth synth queen, thrilled as ever she does. Looking and sounding fabulous both as raving, industrial boot stomper and grand piano caressing balladeer. Laurie will be performing her new show of her own music and also hosting a second night of her cabaret showcase, Bad Luck Cabaret, later in the Fringe. Catch both if you can.

There seemed to be a glitch in the time space continuum for a short moment and a weird non-sensical being dropped into to Planet Spiegletent. Crawling out from under the stage a strange shaped creature materialized. Definitely more legs than a human would normally have, definitely with clothes in the wrong places, definitely recognizable items forming part of the vision but with no sense of order or form. Hieronymus Bosch had a nightmare become reality. A little frightening but ultimately charming, Julia Masli, twisted our perceptions for ten dreamlike minutes.

Next up was an appearance by Charlie Chaplin (aka John Welles). I have no idea who this performer is and whether they will performing other shows but it was absolutely charming and beautiful to watch.

Finally, the show was brought to a sparkling crescendo by the amazing Kiki La Hula. First of all she dances on roller skates, which is no mean feat on the narrow stage, but then she does it all with hula-hoops. Mesmerising and entrancing, Kiki is an amazing swirling treat. I love watching hula-hoop artists and she is one of the best, her moves are slick and tight but to do it all on roller skates is just mind-blowing. Keep it up Kiki!

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