The Détectives in Cirque Noir @ Ukiyo At Gluttony, Adelaide 27/2/2022

This smart, entertaining comedy is a mix of mystery, mayhem, and acrobatics. From the production company Dummies Corp, renowned for their slapstick Splashtest an Trashtest Dummies routines, comes this premiere event at the 2022 Adelaide Fringe.

A cast of three clownish detectives and a saw-playing puppeteer were complemented by exceptional sound effects and a banging score. Fans of Bebop and seedy jazz clubs will get a kick out of the original music and engaging songs.

The show started off in spectacular fashion with a death scene involving a rope and some very entertaining theatrics in true film noir style – the blood stain was hilariously reminiscent of poor props in a death scene in an early Bond movie. This acrobatic routine was the highlight of the whole show for me, although the rest of the performance didn’t disappoint either.

The comedic routines of three bumbling detectives engrossed the audience in a storyline centred around solving the murder in the afore-mentioned death scene. Juggling, sidesplittingly mimed car chases, and slapstick humour were plentiful.

Some of the themes were most definitely adults-only, taking the Dummies Corp well away from their family-friendly roots. As one poor underage child in the audience found out, this was certainly not a performance involving themes of water or trash like their childrens’ shows. One particularly hilarious routine involving a hot dog had this child (aged approximately 11) covering their face and ears in embarrassment throughout.

Overall, it is clear the clever people from Dummies Corp had a lot of fun devising this concept and I welcome further adventures into the more risqué realms of Burlesque and circus noir.

I highly recommend this Australian production of the Détectives in Cirque Noir – my advice is to leave your kids at home and be free to enjoy!

Adelaide Fringe Review By Kim Burley

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