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Jacques is Bacque at Adelaide Fringe 2021 Review

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Blues and jazz with a french twist
Energetic, Funny, Expressive, Talented.

Les Flâneurs Volants tours the Fringe for the second time and goes off with a bang! The name, translated by Steven, means "idle stroller of the city, an observer life and change, engaging in conversation with any who have the time to listen" with Volants meaning "flying."

I had the privilege of scoring tickets to the trio's sold-out lively French and English fusion musical, Jacques is Bacque, with supporting talent Lewis Todd on drums, Nick Jones on saxaphone and clarinet and Ian Davis on double bass.

fringe musical comedy jacque les flaneurs volants french
From left Lewis Todd, Ian Davis, Steve Oppes, Jean-Marc Spiler, Paul Burns, Nick Jones

This show is a continuation from their original show Hit Ze Road Jacques and explores their character Jacque and his experiences in life, falling in love, rejection and heartbreak.

In his recent Q and A with Tema from WeekendNotes, Steven described the show for newcomers

"The show is a tasty baguette, split lengthways and spread with humour, filled with jazz and pop tunes sourced from the corners of the French world and topped with emotions for that extra crunch."

For each song Jean-Marc takes on a new "persona" trait as Jacque, from eternally optimistic, heartbroken and defiant, and his commitment to the character is thoroughly entertaining. The banter between Steve and Paul addressing Jacques' "issues" had the audience giggling. I'm sure as Jean-Marc put it, "There's a little bit of Jacque in all of us" and I believe the audience could really relate to that.

Now for the music.

I can't say I've had a whole lot of exposure to French music or even jazz and blues but this performance gave me all the feels. My biggest critique would have to be that I wish they had a dancefloor!

There were other times throughout the show in the "sadder" songs in which I closed my eyes to really soak it in. I have to commend the saxaphone solo from Nick Jones in "Sickness in Love" which beautifully enriched the performance.

Then in comes the dramatic turn to introduce my favourite song of the night, "24 Thousand Kisses". This is the one that really needs the dancefloor added for!

While the majority of the audience on the night was mostly fifty plus, I'd have say anyone of any age or background would love this performance regardless of your level of French. A child seated near me in the audience was truly captivated through the entire show.

One appreciation point for this show (and this is rare) is that the volume was perfect for the venue. Loud enough to hear and enjoy but not so loud you feel the vibrations in your seat. The atmosphere felt intimate and pretty much for the entire show, I couldn't wipe the smile off my face. It's a shame we all had to wear masks and our smiles were hidden from the performers to see how much we enjoyed it!

After the show, the guys were so friendly and down to earth and interacted with the audience members who wanted to know more or congratulate them on a wonderful performance.

All I can say is you should check these guys out and I look forward to what this trio bring to the Fringe next year.


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When: 27/02/2021 - 11/03/2021
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by Tema on 31/01/2021
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