Here are just some of our favourite acts on show at this year's event. For more acts and event information check out the Bread & Circus website.
1. Piff the Magic Dragon. A man in a dragon suit, holding a chihuahua, performing deadpan comedic magic tricks. Need I say more? John Van der Put and his four-legged sidekick Mr Piffles hit the headlines after showing off their close-up magic skills on TV show Penn and Teller Fool Us in 2011. Piff opened for Mumford and Sons on their 2012 tour, featured on America’s Got Talent in 2015, and holds a performing residency at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. He will lull you into thinking he’s a rookie through his self-deprecating delivery, only to win you over with his slick tricks and cute dog. Catch him January 11-20 at the Assembly Hall at Christ’s College before he heads back to Las Vegas.
2. Feast of Fools. Shrouded in mystery until your ticket is bought, this is the headline foodie event of the festival. One night only and at various locations around Worcester Blvd, this should be an unrivalled theatrical and gastronomical experience. All will be revealed once you’ve bought your ticket, but guests should come dressed in festival fare, perhaps a gala mask and feather boa? The feast kicks off at 7pm on January 19
3. Le Gateau Chocolat. How often do glitter, lycra and opera mix? Hardly ever. This cabaret performer regularly expresses his love of performing in Christchurch, now introducing his new show ICONS. Expect to catch a glimpse behind the curtain of this engaging performer as he waxes lyrical on society and its quirks. Joined by a live band, Le Gateau Chocolat will show off his powerful vocal talent through a genre-spanning performance of the musical icons that inspire him. Catch him January 14-19 at The Spiegeltent on Worcester Blvd.
4. Hot Brown Honey. Bringing a healthy dose of sass to the festival, Hot Brown Honey is like no other show on offer. Combining cabaret, acrobatics, hip hop and dance, expect the urge to dance in the aisles and laugh out loud. A politically charged expression of female power, Hot Brown honey will leave you breathless and entertained. Get down with these ladies January 11-20 at the Assembly Hall at Christ’s College.
5. Skeleton of Colour. The pick of the street performers, Butch Locsin assaults his spectators unexpectedly in the street using smoke grenades. Bringing colour and movement to the festival precinct, Skeleton of Colour is a visual feast set to illuminate the city centre. Comparable to day-time fireworks in their eye-catching nature and visual appeal, the performance includes a cultural nod to Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead). The show is free, but a hat will be passed around busker-style. Linger about Worcester Blvd from January 11-13 to experience the mayhem.
6. Garry Starr Performs Everything. A farcical performance spanning every theatrical genre as Garry Starr single-handedly tries to save performing arts. The Australian comic falls over himself while trying to prove he has what it takes, in a slap-stick play set to entertain. Check Starr out January 11-20 at the Old Boys’ Theatre at Christ’s College.
7. Betty Grumble: Love & Anger. Get your babysitter booked and leave the little ones at home for this R18 cabaret, best seen to be believed. Rumours are Betty will perform never-before seen acts during her one-hour show, set to induce gasps and laughs. Betty will take the stage January 11-19 at the Old Boys’ Theatre at Christ’s College. Again, not one for the kids.
8. The Miss Behave Gameshow. An interactive variety show pitting the audience against each other, with prizes. Need to know anything more? A runaway hit on the Las Vegas strip, the audience is the star of this show. Expect to get involved and revel in the chaos and sharp wit. The show runs January 11-20 at The Backstage Social Club at The Arts Centre.
9. Mothers Ruin: A Cabaret about Gin. This show sold out at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, a drunken musical ode to gin, also known as mothers ruin. Perhaps another one not for the children? With smeared make up and loose inhibitions, these ladies tell the story of gin through song and stumble. The show is only running the first weekend of the festival, January 12 and 13, so don’t miss out. At The Spiegeltent on Worcester Blvd.
10. The Revolver Club. Naturally we saved the best for last. Assuming the role of festival bar and ‘cool place to be’, The Revolver club runs Thursday through Sunday for the last two weeks of the festival, from 8pm at The Backstage Social Club. Destined to be the heart of the event, the club will feature the best of homegrown talent and international acts. Get down to the Arts Centre for a cocktail and a show.