Cantina; Udderbelly Spiegeltent, London Wonderground, 9 September 2012

I could never be your woman

Another man foolish enough to ask for a refund gets sent straight to Cantina’s Customer Complaints department.

If you fancy having your jaw dropped, Cantina is the show for you. Featuring Australian artistes from the renowned La Clique and Circus Oz  stables, this cabaret show grabs you by the goolies from the moment a woman in high, high silver sparkly heels takes to the high wire and promptly does the splits.

And how does one top that you may be wondering. Well, through a superbly paced hour of well-honed acts of astonishing physical feats performed by extremely talented people, all linked together by naughty/cute songs on the ukelele.

Without giving anything away of the individual acts (which rely on the not-knowing what’s about to happen), there’s also some incredible choreography; not so much in the jazzy Charleston numbers that pop up from time to time but in the gymnastic sequences where the men perform unbelievable flips and somersaults and in the way that the classically trained women are hurled around like they’re partaking in a really pissed-off Kenneth MacMillan piece. There’s a breathtaking section where one of the women is whirled around by her feet and passed from man to man in a manner that would put DV8 to shame.

The intimacy of the Udderbelly spiegeltent is wonderful, even the back row is little further than ten feet from the stage and the screams beaming in from the (very scarey) roller-coaster outside only add to the bottleable tension inside. It’s best that you go with someone else to watch this as you’ll need someone’s arm/shoulder/leg/head to squeeze in moments of dread disbelief. You’ll also come away amazed by what you can do with a piano, a newspaper, a little red fluffy ball and a naked man’s nether regions.

Gerard Davis

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