A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
Let's Dance - and twirl fire and hoops
I wasn't really sure what to expect in Rebel. How, I wondered, could one fit a live band, lead singer/compere, and circus acts onto the not particularly large stage in the Melba Spiegeltent? It was that intrigue, coupled with a love of David Bowie's music dating way back to my teenage years, that helped me to decide I really needed to see this show.
Compered by larger than life personality, multi-award winner Stewart Reeve, Rebel features a series of Bowie songs, sung by Reeve, and backed by a band that has been hand-picked for the show. Hand picked in that, as we soon realise, most of the band members are also circus performers. Their acts are interwoven with performances by aerialist/hula hooper/roller skater Jane Schofield during the show. Talk about talent!
Aerialist Jane Schofield performs an aerial silks act to 'Space Oddity'
You wouldn't necessarily think that a Bowie standard like Space Oddity would work as a backing track to an aerial silks act - but somehow it did. The act was cleverly integrated with the beat and drama of the song. Amazing work by Director/Producer Elena Kirschbaum (with Stewart Reeve as co-creator).
Band member Winter Cyan performs a fire eating act
Other great acts included hoop twirling to Fashion, another aerial act to Let's Dance, and a 'fire spectacular' (twirling and fire eating) to Ziggy Stardust.
An act by band member Cat Scobie, in which a power tool is applied to various metal surfaces to create impressive displays of sparks was a hit too.
The sparks were flying with Cat Scobie on the stage
I suspect the show will appeal more to Bowie fans, only because (like me) they will enjoy singing along; but even those not familiar with Bowie's music will enjoy the theatre of the show, and the clever integration of the acts with the music.
As we walked away from the Spiegeltent after the show, I commented to my partner that I could see Rebel being a hit on the strip in Las Vegas. There was a depth in talent that made the show zing, and the content would have wide appeal. Stewart Reeve was an inspired choice for the lead singer/compere, with just the right amount of assuredness, and of course the strong vocal capability to be 'Bowie-esque', without being an impersonator.
The many faces of Stewart Reeve
This official video of Rebel will give you an idea of what to expect:
Rebel plays at the Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood, at 7pm each night until Sunday 3rd February.
Tickets are full: $35, concession: $28. Click here to buy your tickets online.
The running time is one hour, and the show is suitable for all ages.
The images in this article were taken by the writer.