Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Review: La Soirée at the Southbank Centre’s Spiegeltent



La Soirée 
Southbank Centre (Spiegeltent)
Reviewed on Friday
★★★★

Following its triumph at last year's Olivier Awards,  La Soirée has returned to London for its sixth season. Combining the wonders of circus with the wildness of cabaret, La Soirée is exhilaratingly wild. The show is cleverly constructed to evoke huge responses from its audience in the intimate environment created by the Southbank Centre’s Spiegeltent.

Featuring a huge variety of performers, this season sees some new performers joining La Soirée favorites. With Brian May in attendance on press night, Mario Queen Of The Circus' Freddie Mercury juggling act went down a storm (his stage surf in the second half was totally bonkers yet hilarious).

Singer Miss Frisky, aerialist Yammel Rodriguez and balance extraordinaire Melanie Chy bring some serious sass  whilst contortionist Captain Frodo is possibly the craziest person to ever set foot on a London stage (and I never want to see another tennis racket ever again in my life). 

Be warned, there is audience participation; mischievous Mooky fulfilled her acting ambitions with the help of an audience member whilst one poor gentleman in the front row felt the sexually charged wrath of Asher Treleaven during his diablo act. 

Without doubt the stars of the show are The English Gents who, together, demonstrate tremendous acrobatic skill, strength and balance. In the first act they perform as a duo before taking to the stage for solo slots during the second half. Hamish McCann set pulses racing with his pole routine, but it was Denis Lock who stole the show. 

Until Lock took to the stage all the acts had been big bold and in your face; however, Lock simply stood at a table and introduced the audience to something they had never seen before - bubble art. Time stopped as Lock demonstrated such intricate skill, linking and manipulating bubbles beyond belief. When he finished the entire room unanimously jumped to their feet - my mind was well and truly blown. The beauty of the performance was overwhelming, it's not every day you see something so strikingly and unimaginably unique.

La Soiree is not for the shy or faint-hearted. This was my first time seeing the show and I still can't believe some of what I witnessed. I adore the Spiegeltent - the atmosphere feels so alive; at the end of the evening I left feeling emotionally exhausted (I spent half the evening with my hands partly covering my eyes) but also uplifted by the incredible energy from both the cast and audience.

Rebellious, stylish and bursting with immense talent, La Soiree provides a night to remember.

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

La Soirée runs at the Southbank Centre’s Spiegeltent until 17th January 2016.
Please visit www.la-soiree.com for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Hugo Glendenning

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