Loons walk on the sexy side

ANNA PEARSON
Last updated 11:34 05/10/2011
Twisty Twinz
ILLUSION: The Twisty Twinz (Jola and Nele Siezen) perform a sexy acrobatic shadow routine.

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'There's obviously nudity," The Loons' co-founder Darryl Cribb says, describing the theatre company's Berlin Burlesque show.

Full frontal?

"People need to come with an open mind," he says.

So, yes.

"Lots of flesh," he says.

But it's not just nudity for the sake of nudity.

"Everything is very tasteful and hilarious."

Cribb also promises girls on stilts, a four-piece band and guaranteed audience involvement.

He doesn't have to sell the show much more than that, because the company's three cabaret-style performances in Nelson have already sold out.

Berlin Burlesque is described as a "raunchy night full of circus, song, theatre and mayhem", based on the true story of a Jewish psychic.

Erik Jan Hanussen was murdered after he became Adolf Hitler's clairvoyant, predicting his rise to power.

"The whole thing is set in the context of telling the story about Eric," Cribb says.

The Loons Theatre Company surfaced in the port town of Lyttelton, near Christchurch, more than four years ago.

The theatre company has an established core of eight members, who also do their own costume and set design.

Cribb says co-founder Mike Friend hand-picked an "amazing bunch" of performers from the Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology's CircoArts programme.

The talented group will hold circus workshops for children aged seven to 14 while they're in Nelson, teaching skills like juggling and hula-hooping.

The Loons' headquarters was closed after the February earthquake, but Cribb says the inside of the building held up "remarkably well", considering many of Lyttelton's buildings were badly damaged.

The Loons finished a series of highly-popular performances of Macbeth two weeks ago, as part of the Christchurch Arts Festival.

The show was meant to be held in the company's boutique theatre, so Cribb was selling tickets "blind" four weeks out from opening night as he desperately looked for another option.

Turns out, it was staring him in the face – Lyttelton's rubble-strewn streets.

"It was always going to be set in a post-apocalyptic setting.

"It looked like a movie set. It was really cool."

The Loon's sexy flagship show, The Butler, was wildly popular when it showed in Nelson a couple of years ago, and Cribb suspects that's why Berlin Burlesque has already sold out.

He says the first time people see the show – complete with cabaret-style seating and audience interaction – they're "blown away".

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The Loons are also presenting A Night of Theatre as part of the arts festival, a series of three 40-minute plays – Stuck up the Alley, Battle of the Bastards and The Butcher's Daughter.

The Butcher's Daughter, written by Joe Bennett, is a new show about love, family and, well ... a butcher's daughter.

"They're all very different styles. You get this real smorgasbord of theatre in one night," Cribb says.

  • The Loons Theatre Company presents Berlin Burlesque, 8pm tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday, Theatre Royal (sold out); A Night of Theatre, 7pm October 10 and 11, Suter Theatre; A Taste of Circus Workshop (for children), 1.30pm October 8 and 9, The New Hub; Hula-Hooping Master Class for Adults, 7.30pm October 10, The New Hub.

- Nelson

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