Adelaide Fringe 2011
Strut & Fret Production House
Festival: Adelaide Fringe
Set in the era of the 1940’s-1950’s, Cantina explores the hardship and passion of that time through a blend of circus, burlesque, vaudeville, song and dance.
When you first enter the Spiegeltent, you are immediately drawn the raised circular stage; unusual for tent performances. So high that when you sit in your chair your eyes are at floor level, subsequently putting you in a much-desired yet uncomfortable position. As the cast members perform you are seeing the show from a whole new level, it’s almost like how a child sees the world – from the feet up. And then there are all the risky acts!
Henna Kaikula performs several contortion routines, one being a handstand act over a bed of broken glass. Her rag-doll body has us all cringing at the impossible flexibility she possesses.
Chelsea McGuffin also pushes her body to the limit in a routine known as “toss the girl” in which she is thrown between two male performers and her body can only be described as a kind of skipping rope! As for the rest of the acts, they are all confronting, risqué, magical and absurd. Just witnessing the sheer amount of physical strength required by all the cast is a good enough reason to go and see the show!
The somber blue lighting underpinned with stark white is an incredible assistant to the show, offering the right amount of both a dark and light mood. Occasional flicks of red provide the showtime ‘razzle dazzle’ for the more upbeat dance routines and piano bar acts.
Whilst Moze’s ‘swinging around the stage by his neck’ routine is worth seeing, his ‘red hanky’ routine appears remarkably similar to that of Ursula Martinez. Ursula performed this routine as part of La Clique in 2005 and the only difference between the two routines is the gender of the performers. Aside from this doubling up of acts, Cantina is otherwise a seductive and enthralling show.