Papillon is an intimate circus, cabaret production set within the Lotus Palace of Gluttony for a month during the Adelaide Fringe.
The show leads off with a musical number and then leads through a series of short, circus-inspired acts presenting the physical strengths and balance of all the performers. Several of the acts are common place in physical theatre productions and are all well performed by the entire ensemble.
It’s the smaller acts which cleverly piece the show together and bring out the extra character of all the performers. There is a rawness to the show and the artists which works in the production’s favour. The small quirks emphasise the connection between the performers and their work.
Humour and burlesque add the adult edge to the show. The hints of naughtiness, such as stripping while juggling, throw the circus acts well outside of the family-friendly arena. Music operates as the connecting feature between all the acts and an onstage pianist/DJ keeps all the sound and the show flowing smoothly despite some hiccups with microphones.
A stand out section of the show is Papillon’s take on a partnered strength and flexibility act. Two of the female performers dressed in stunning blue sequined costumes move slowly on stage to lift and manoeuvre over each other. They move through effortlessly and present the act as a captivating moment of the show.
Some of the acts are restricted by the size of the venue. Once the performers reach a certain height in the Lotus Palace they reach a dark patch where the costumes and the movements are not as visible. The wit and charm of the performers make up for this with their well-timed expressions and banter keeping the show flowing.
Overall, Papillon is a neat, well-rounded production featuring a crafty mixture of cabaret, circus and physical theatre.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 5: 3
Venue: Gluttony – The Lotus Palace, East Terrace, Adelaide
Season: 13 February – 15 March 2015
Duration: 90 mins
Tickets: $32 – $46
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)