I had a little chat with Alexandre Mainville, the Director of Operations at the Cabaret du Mile End about an event he’s putting together this week, hosting the Blue Mushroom Circus Sideshow. The show is October 4th.

What is the Blue Mushroom Sirkus Psyshow? What can visitors expect to see at the show? 

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It’s a flashback to the freak shows from the 1920s, with the strong man, sword swallower, the fire spitter, magicians, contortionist and then some burlesque elements (costumes and dancers, etc) added in for good measure. In addition, this particular show, on October 4th will also feature a DJ Sidi Khali who is an already well known swing DJ and Bad Uncle (who used to play with the Unsettlers) who plays with a carnival-esque feel. Basically, it’s a fun return to the 1920s for a night.

What attracted you to put on/promote a carnival-esque sideshow?

 You don’t often see this sort of thing any more, maybe it has fallen out of favour due to a politically incorrect history (exploiting people with disabilities, doing nasty things like the geeks who bit heads off chickens, etc), but there are many elements that are still fun and perfectly acceptable. So,  I’ve never had that kind of show in the cabaret du mile end and I always want to do one. It’s been at least 5 years that I’ve been thinking about making one and then I found the blue mushroom sirkius and it was exactly what I had in mind. So instead of amassing one myself, I hired them, and added a few extra elements that I thought would enhance the experience, and that was much easier. The result is the same, probably even better since they have experience and have worked together for some time.

Added extra elements?

Well all the staff would be in costume, we Also have a magician, an extra burlesque show and the band and dj which aren’t always included.

Why do you think Montreal is a good place to host an event like this?

 Because Montréal is really very open to the new, strange or different, we have the école national du cirque, cirque du soleil, cirque éloize, etc. We tend to like burlesque and have a bit more of an openness to underground cultures and tastes.  The show attracts a bit of a different crowd than the normal circus, because it’s a bit more quirky (obviously), but I’m sure there are a lot of people who love something a bit strange and retro. And Bad Uncle is an awesome band too, they will provide the perfect ambiance to the show. You really have to hear them to see what I mean. I use to produce the Unsetllers, they performed the same kind of music as Bad Uncle and they had tons of followers.

Are you a fan of the circus? Of magic?

I love the music in those kinds of events. I love the tiger lilies, dead men’s bones and bands like that. I did it for that at the beginning. I love circus too but usually find it a bit too clean, with too much artifice. I like magic too but the simple old fashioned kind, rather than the big televised spectacles that has Evolved from it. Sleight of hand and things with less fanfare, are much more impressive and fun. Freak shows and more down to earth performances are more human, bring you more in touch with human abilities and uniqueness rather than overwhelm your senses with ENTERTAINMENT. They’re more real, if you get what I mean…

Tell me a bit about the performers that are taking part in the show? Who are they , and why are they awesome?

Have you ever seen a sword swallower? It’s pretty awesome!. It the real shit! I love the costumes, the “mise en scène” and how much fun they have on the stage. It`s contagious. You’re going to see a strong man who bend big pieces of metal, swallow bottle of beer and break a phone book, You’ll have a contortionist, a girl who will do a choreography with herself as a Siamese, a gypsy dancer, an awesome magician who will perform in the venue for everyone (and he’s really very impressive)! Also, a burlesque show and an awesome band who will play for 45 minutes and it finishes with a DJ until 2-3h00 in the morning. It will be an experience, not just in front of the stage but everywhere. All my staff will be costumed and we encourage the crowd to come in costumes as well. Without spoiling the show with more details, we can say that guests will be immersed in the show rather than just sit back and watch a few performers on stage. It will be a lively night, a bit retro and lots of fun. As far as I know, there’s nothing else like it going on right now.

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What kind of costumes should the crowd try for in order to fit in with the event, if they’re so inclined?

Carnivaleque costumes or fetish gear, maybe clowns… Anything that is circus-y or fits the theme of the show would be great!

Tickets are still available! Advance Tickets: $10 July, $15 August, $20 September available here, and at the door. check out the event on Facebook here.

Tickets at Cabaret du Mile End: (514) 563-1395 or Reseau Admission.

The Blue Mushroom Psyshow with Bad Uncle and Sidi Khalil for a marvelous freak Show on the 4th of October 2013. Artists, actors, dancers, fire-eaters, sword-swallowers, burlesque strippers and other magicians of all kinds promise you an unforgettable night. The music will be lead by Bad Uncle and DJ Sidi Khalil.

Check out the video below for a taste of what’s to come:

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