Smoke and Mirrors

It was a really good day. Work was enjoyable and interesting. Late in the afternoon I went to farewell drinks for a colleague. This was followed by a great night of theatre, and then some wonderful late night supper. Does it get any better?

Theatre? Colin and I went to see “Smoke and Mirrors” at the Seymour Centre. Even though neither one of us knew too much about it, except that it had been a hit at Sydney Festival, that it featured iOTA, and that it was vaguely about life in an old fashioned circus with acrobats, bearded ladies and so on.

The first half was honestly some of the best theatre I’ve ever seen. It was witty, it was clever, and it was challenging. The acrobatic sequences were spectacular, including one where a female performers was “thrown” and “spun in the air” on many occasions, and another featuring four male acrobats dressed in early twentieth century swimming costumes. The sequence with the magician also showed great humour, as traditional doves and pigeons were replaced by geese in some of the illusions. iOTA also played a role as the “magicians assistant” which was memorable.

I found the second half a little disappointing though, as it moved away from “theatre” more into the stylings of a rock concert. About the only highlight was Queenie van de Zandt, who had been spectacular in the first half as the bearded lady who came back with a torch song. I think the second half lost a little of the intelligence and humour of the first half, but which wasn’t replaced with emotion. Both Colin and I thought it became a little self-indulgent.

But that’s just our view, as a lot of the audience seemed to really enjoy the second half and the show got a standing ovation. Still, we noticed the looks on the faces of the people around us also suggests we weren’t the only people who found the second half not as good as the first.

After the show we headed out for a bite to eat at Cafe Sicilia which we had recently enjoyed for lunch. I had the rabbit, which was excellent. A very enjoyable way to end a wonderful Friday.

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