A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
A little bit cheeky, a little bit WOW
It's wonderful to see live performances starting back in Melbourne after a hiatus of almost a year. Creative space and dance venue RUBIX Warehouse has shaken off the dust and hit the ground running with a new COVID safe format. Owner Tanya El Gamal has assembled an award-winning cast in the form of The Smokin' Phoenix Steampunk Circus to take up a performance residency at RUBIX, and combined it with a two-course, table service dinner to create a winning combination.
RUBIX Warehouse has had a makeover to allow a 'dinner and show' option
Playing most Fridays between now and 12 March, The Smokin' Phoenix Steampunk Circus is delivering quality circus and cabaret acts, supported by live house band The Ruffled Feathers.
RUBIX is not a polished, slick theatre - it's more of a down to earth, rustic warehouse style venue. El Gamal has repurposed materials from another venue to transform RUBIX into a venue capable of providing in-theatre, as well as casual, dining. The venue now sports a pizza oven, and patrons selecting the 'dinner and show' option can expect to choose from a selection of pizzas that are made fresh and delivered to the table.
The 'shabby chic' decor of RUBIX was perhaps the inspiration for the Steampunk theme of this show. Steampunk has its origins in the 19th century steam-powered industrial era. It translates into a particular look and style embracing fashion, makeup and accessories, suggesting an 'alternative history' of the Victorian era.
Performers in The Smokin' Phoenix Steampunk Circus have incorporated the Steampunk look into their costumes, fusing classic Victorian elements with modern styles. Think corsets and flying goggles, and you'll start to get the picture.
The Circus is fronted by the sassy Sophie deLightful as Madame Phoenix. Also the Artistic Director, the multi-talented deLightful can not only quickly command the room, she has a beautiful singing voice.
Sophie deLightful as the MC - commanding presence
Lura La Rouge soon had the audience alight with awe as she performed her burlesque and freestyle fire fans act. This was a standout act, as much of her performance comprised moves I'd not seen before.
Lura Eclipse - on fire!
The format of the night's show was that there were a series of 'main' acts, with a break in between, very capably filled with the rich jazz harmonies of gypsy Manouche duo The Ruffled Feathers. The breaks provided patrons with the opportunity to eat their pizza dinners, and also to pop out to the bar to order the next round of drinks.
The Ruffled Feathers provided a musical interlude between acts.
Roving entertainment between acts included LED mini hoop juggling by Mr Manipulator. We saw a stronger example of his talents when he took to the stage to perform dazzling feats with LED poi, creating colourful, eye-catching patterns as he twirled.
Mr Manipulator had the audience in a spin
Rounding out the cast were Airmistress Octavia who took our eyes skywards with her physically demanding yet deceptively graceful aerial hoop (lyra) performances, and the seductive Vera Von Vixen whose athletic command of the pole, in super high heels, was mesmerising.
This is a fun, entertaining evening, so for a smokin' good night out, grab a group of friends and check it out! And chill out and have a few drinks in the front bar before or after the show.
The Smokin' Phoenix Steampunk Circus plays on Friday nights until 12 March 2021. The show runs for approximately 1.5 hours, allowing for two sessions most nights - 6.30pm and 8.30pm.
Tickets are $54.58 for the show only, $75.90 for back section seats (including dinner and complimentary drink) and $86.56 for front section seats (including dinner and drink). Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.