If you are looking for a show to shock the senses, then look no further than Highwire’s production of Rouge. Performed in the sublime setting of The Octagon at Gluttony, you will find a talented troupe of performers mixing it up with circus, burlesque and cabaret.
Beautifully executed, Rouge delivers a high-energy circus that must be seen to be believed. Deliciously naughty, performers wow the audience with feats of strength. Highly-trained acrobats, Annalise Moore, Andre Augustus and Lyndon Johnson twist, turn and balance to the delight of the crowd.
If that isn’t enough to get your attention, then performer Jessie McKibben, equipped with whips will surely wake you up. Circus skills such as hooping, balancing, handstands, headstands, Cyr wheel, and acrobatics highlight the sturdiness and agility of performers.
Adding a classy contrast is operatic star Isabel Hertaeg. Elegantly adorned in a scarlet dress she sashays through the crowd onto the stage. Her vocal range is impressive.
Not for the prudish, Rouge displays mild nudity and naughty antics that leave one blushing. Confident and playful performers are not afraid to sexualise themselves, all in the name of artistic expression.
The cheers and laughter of the sell-out crowd when I attended indicated that the suggestive humour was being taken as intended. Hosting this mayhem was the exuberant Paul Westbrook, who was quite happy to take on the role of an misbehaving adolescent.
If you are open-minded and like your circus a little risqué, then you are on a winner with Rouge.