Review: Strut and Fret, Cantina, Speigeltent

For a show that mixes the macabre with the masochistic, and the porcelain whiteness of elastic limbs with the stiletto, there are few challengers – if any – to the amazing Strut and Fret production Cantina.

Set in the atmospheric Spiegeltent in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, Cantina mixes passion and violence with stunning feats of strength and stamina.

It is a show where you will see mock fights and acrobatics, powerlifting of the fellow human being and a double-jointed contortionist who will simply take your breath away with her poise, balance and courage.

With a backdrop of haunting melodies, cheeky ukulele and occasional male nudity, this is a masterpiece of theatrical art.

There are moments to make the audience wince – the enforced pain of the near naked torso of a male character being literally walked all over by his female counterpart in sharp-heeled stilletos, for example, or standing barefoot on a tray of broken glass while supporting the weight of another character.

But there are also the moments too where the audience will gasp in amazement.

It is also, possibly, the only time that you will ever see someone walk a tightrope in stiletto heeled shoes.

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A fabulous curtain-raiser to the festival, no wonder this is one of the hottest festival tickets in town.

• NNF11 runs from May 6 to 21. You can book online at, by phone on 01603 766400 or at the Norwich Theatre Royal box office

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