Isaac Theatre Royal, Christchurch

09/02/2020 - 09/02/2020

World Buskers Festival 2020 | BREAD & CIRCUS

Production Details

The talent at Bread & Circus 2020 is so BIG, we had to split it into two massive nights of epic, side-splitting, jaw-dropping, edge of your seat entertainment!

It’s the annual festival of big laughs, big talent and even bigger personalities all set in the beautiful Isaac Theatre Royal; because sometimes we like to get super fancy,

If you couldn’t make the First Half or you came away wanting MORE, then join us for the next round of not-to-be-missed festival highlights at the Second Half!

Don’t miss out on tickets, this is a sell-out festival favourite every year.

Isaac Theatre Royal
9 Feb 2020

Variety , Theatre , Stand-up comedy , Music , Comedy ,

2hr 20m (incl. interval)

Leaves a very favourable impression

Review by Tony Ryan 10th Feb 2020

Tonight’s host, Cal Wilson (NZ), gets tonight’s Gala off to a genuinely comic and engaging start. Cal has her own show starting on Tuesday night for the final week of this year’s World Buskers Festival and, if tonight’s sample of her wit and comic take on life are anything to go by, her solo act Gifted Underachiever will certainly be worth seeing. 

The first of tonight’s guests is Mario Queen of the Circus (USA), whom we’ve already seen as one of the most popular street acts at the Buskers’ pitches, as well as a regular guest in Mavericks at the Backstage Social Club. Tonight, although we get nothing new, it’s one of those shows where everything seems even funnier and more amazing each time we see it. The juggling, backed by Queen’s ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ is very special indeed. It takes a superior performer to make a mark in a busking world increasingly over-populated with jugglers, and Mario (Clarke McFarlane) has devised a routine that’s imaginative, original and dazzlingly skilful. And tonight he’s justifiably named as winner of the The Press’s ‘Iron Chicken Award’ for best street performer. 

The award for best ticketed performer goes to Flo and Joan, another decision I heartily agree with based on the shows I’ve seen.

Another clear highlight in tonight’s Gala is $hantalle and Jerry (AUS/CAN). Unlike everyone else, this is the duo’s first appearance at The World Buskers Festival and their act is all the more refreshing for that. Although not a word is spoken, their special ‘sullen millennial’ brand of humour is an added enhancement to their stunningly impressive skills with a bicycle (Jerry) and, later in the evening, hula hoops ($hantalle). In their separate acts, each serves as the other’s assistant (to added comic effect). $hantalle’s use of a hapless volunteer in her act is hugely effective and, given his exceptional willingness and buy-in, adds significantly to the performance and to our entertainment. 

If we’ve seen everything else in this show before, some even in the Gala First Half two weeks ago (Sublimit and Pancho Libre), tonight everything hits the mark. A juggling act from Laser Kiwi (who also appear in the street pitches as The Biggest Little Circus Show) is another original and exceptionally skilful act, along with their use of a front row ring-in from the audience in a cleverly devised wine-pouring, candle-lighting routine.

Another NZ act, Chris Parker, delights the audience with his hilarious brand of gay comedy stand-up, and The Lord of the Bubbles from Spain, whose opening performance I’d seen just a few hours earlier, brings us even more amazement as he defies our expectations of bubble behaviour in ever more varied, colourful and seemingly impossible ways. 

Unlike the first Gala of this festival, tonight’s leaves a very favourable impression and promises a great final few days from the acts that are new this week.


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