BLUSH | Circus for Grown Ups at QPAC

The circus for grown-ups definitely makes you BLUSH. The unique sexy circus cabaret experience presented by QPAC playing at the Cremorne Theatre is not to be missed. The Brisbane audiences cheer and joyfully gasp at the unpredictable hilarity of the production. ‘Blush’ incorporates all the exciting fantastical elements of a traditional physical circus show but with a racy comical twist. The Adelaide Fringe Award-winning production includes trapeze, fire performing, partner acrobatics, opera singing and aerial silk performing.

The six-person cast are all diverse performers and complement each other so brilliantly as they support one another to showcase their different talents throughout the hour and a half sensational spectacle.

The hilarious and remarkable Paul Westbrook is the first performer you meet when the show begins. His British accent hooks you in as he explains to the audience directly, that just because you are at an extravagant theatre complex that doesn’t mean you can’t cheer, be loud and enjoy yourselves. So, we took his advice and had a blast. Paul illustrated his unreal comedic timing, incredible dance skills and out-of-this-world aerial stunts.

A highlight is when he forms a ‘boy band’ and all three men in the show dance to ‘No Scrubs’ by TLC. He seems like he is going to do a strip tease dance to ‘Pony’ by Ginuwine but hysterically changes his mind and in one scene keeps pulling one of the performers pants down to jokingly keep the attention on him. Paul is the comedic relief of the group and leaves the theatregoers in stitches with his antics and wows with his captivating aerial flair.

Christine Ibrahim is the incredible songstress and aerialist in the show. She performs with ease some of the most beautiful operatic songs to accompany the physical acts. Her voice soars through the theatre with sensual, comedic unexpected skits. Christine begins singing and out pops from under her dress two other performers and leaves the audience giggling at the naughty nature of the act. Her aerial silks routine is particularly impressive as she sings upside down during the set. The audience is completely blown away by her talents.

Christopher Carlos, the magnificent fire performer exudes passion and wows the crowd with his ability to essentially breathe fire for a whole set. He uses multiple flames and even stands on his head as he balances next to two open blazes and risks his life as he illustrates his love for the unique performance art. Christopher charms the audience with his partner acrobatic aptitude. He joins two of the cast members as they complete death-defying moves and flip, swing and stand on his head all with joyous charisma and magnetism. 

Lyndon Johnson is also an acrobat genius with a mesmerising charm in addition to being a phenomenal aerialist. Lyndon has a hypnotic aura as he displays his lust for the stage and how strong he is. This is particularly evident when he joins Paul for the aerial trapeze and they both show off their wonderous core strength. They are a knockout with the Brisbane horde as they swing around in the centre of the stage holding each other with one arm and the trapeze strap with the other. The show beautifully shows different relationships with all genders and identities, it is wonderful to see. Additionally, Lyndon continues participating in partner stunts when he performs with the giant hula hoop with Jessie McKibbin, one of the other cast members. It is a lovely routine highlighting their extraordinary circus and gymnastics skills as they show their affection for one another.

Speaking of Jessie McKibbin, she is a multi-disciplinary circus artist and finds numerous opportunities to entertain the audience and simultaneously amaze them with her incredible abilities. A highlight of hers is when she arrives onstage with a lampshade on her head hiding her face. The comedic skit starts off with her wanting the attention of another performer on stage. Then she strips and gets half-naked with only a battery-powered light switch on her crotch. The audience goes wild as she starts raving to David Guetta and Nicki Minaj’s hit song ‘Turn me on.’ It is naughty and hilariously entertaining all at once. Another incredible moment is when Jessie arrives on stage with a whip and a carrot-strap on, and begins dominatrix-style whipping different objects into two which is astonishing and remarkable.

Sophie Seccombe is an otherworldly and ethereal acrobat that makes the crowd cheer with delight. She has incredible natural gifts and continues to keep the audience guessing as she tumbles and balances on heads three people tall. A stand-out moment from her is when Sophie and the other two women in the show were on stage. An incredible spoken word soundtrack about feminism and women’s rights is playing as Sophie is balancing on two bars and courageously stays poised with her head upside down as she completes challenging moves. Her stage presence is undeniable as she is swung around by Lyndon and Christopher and steps from one head to another and is caught in their arms. Sophie is a force to be reckoned with and completes the fantastic cast of performers.

BLUSH is a naughty, feel good circus cabaret production with unbelievable daredevil comedic acts. The esteemed burlesque type show will make you laugh, and you will leave impressed with the talent Brisbane is lucky enough to enjoy at the stunning QPAC theatres.

TICKETS 🎟 BLUSH – Circus for Grown Ups – Cremorne Theatre, QPAC until 12 February.

Photo credit Darren Thomas