I have just returned from producing the circus and cabaret big top for Chelmsford City Council's "Fling Festival" for the fourth year running. The cabaret big top is a flagship show of the festival and brings some much needed creative entertainment to the social landscape of Chelmsford. It is always a hugely rewarding to work on, with many guests staying glued to their seat from the moment the tent opens to the moment it closes as it is their only opportunity to see that kind of entertainment all year. Very different to the somewhat spoiled audiences in cultural hubs such as London or Bristol.
Due to the crazy British (non) summer we are having the weather was switching between sunshine, epic winds and huge thunderstorms, aways fun when you are in a field with a bunch of artists in hugely elaborate costumes. The main challenge was getting artists from the backstage marquee to the stage mud free, which was aided by the improvisation of a “shoe station” out of a trestle table on the ground where the artists could switch their dress shoes right before the stage.
This production is particularly nice to me for nostalgic reasons as I get to spend time with many of the artists which I used to tour with and perform alongside many years ago. This year it was great to have burlesque superstar Kitty Bang Bang on board, Kitty and I had a particularly eventful evening performing together in Milan at a club called Connie Douglas. On this rather eventful evening Kitty, myself and the other cabaret performer took it upon ourselves to jump into the club's swimming pool after the show had finished. This somehow ring-lead a lot of the guests following suite and even the clubs property jumping in, in full 70’s white suite and frilled shirt which was quite a sight. To add to the fun the water had all turned pink at Kitty was still covered in stage blood and a huge water fight started which covered the whole club. Kitty just told me they had to paint the whole club afterwards. All in a days work, and here’s what we looked like onstage, moments before the chaos.