Until 25 Feb 2018

Review by Thomas Filsell

“The Talents of Darkness” is a show comprising sideshow oddities interspersed with musical interludes. After a slow and somewhat awkward beginning, and a worrying blunder involving fire early in the piece, the performers hit their stride and established a suitably strange atmosphere.

The show was hosted by drag queen Bebe Tricx, a nice enough personality, with a wry sense of humour, but ultimately one of the blandest performers among the troupe. Her ‘extraordinary feats’ of magic involved eating a piece of glass no bigger than the nail on my pinkie finger and sticking a needle through the skin on her arm. She did perform some basic tricks involving ‘mind-reading’ and dangerous liquids, which came off well, and her engagement of the audience helped to create the desired kind of atmosphere for the show.

Murderclown the Sane was surprisingly inoffensive, in a good way, and had some very impressive pyrotechnical skills, as well as a great sense of the comedic and a nice rapport with the audience and his fellow performers.

Justin Thyme was a talented physical performer, though he failed to synchronise his speech with his cues throughout much of his first appearance, which distracted from his comedy. His return to stage was far better, however, and by that stage he had settled into his persona and managed to use his props and physicality to good comedic effect.

Tammi Mortem was a good dancer, seductive and sensual, though she didn’t add much to the show. Her fire skills were less impressive than Murderclown’s and she remained more aloof and apart from the audience than her performing counterparts.

The show was an interesting experience, something you might expect to find in a travelling circus show, but with lesser production values. It did tend to drag between performances, and the venue meant that the performers did not have any wings or backstage to stand in, so they were standing within the audience’s eyesight even when not performing, which felt awkward at times. It would benefit from some direction, smoother transitions between skits and faster pacing.

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5)