Edinburgh Festival Fringe cabaret review: La Clique and the Famous Spiegeltent presents Velvet, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Ben Walters.
From a team including veterans of world-beating variety show La Clique, this disco-themed production certainly knows how to deliver a crowd-pleasing spectacle. Set in a gilded Eighties nightclub, all spangly gold outfits and pulsing light-walls, VELVET offers a rolling line-up of classic tunes (Boogie Wonderland, Let’s Dance, It’s Raining Men) and bravura circus skills to a pumping beat.
The production values are impressive, as are the technical skills on show, including diva Marcia Hines, singer Brendan Maclean and electronic percussionist Joe Accaria (the only live musician), as well as burlesque star Perle Noire and acrobats Mirko Köckenberger and Emma Goh.
The stand-out acts are Stephen Williams, who delivers an exemplary aerial routine, and Craig Reid (aka Craig the Incredible Hula Boy), whose sensational hula numbers pulse with distinctive character, cheeky humour and palpable enjoyment. Elsewhere, such attributes are thin on the ground: for all its snap and bling, VELVET lacks heart and soul. It feels machine-tooled, put together from the outside in rather than emerging from a real desire to tell a story or communicate emotion – even the show’s supposedly risqué aspects are more about style than chemistry or kink.
The Famous Spiegeltent (Venue 87) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 27 August 2015
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