Sexy Circus Swings Back Into Town With La Soirée

La Soirée, Aldwych Theatre ★★★★★

Sexy Circus Swings Back Into Town With La Soirée La Soirée, Aldwych Theatre 5
Photo: Brinkhoff Mogenburg

Rejoice: London's greatest cabaret show is back in town. This isn't the easiest city to love but when it births epic experiences like the much-loved La Soirée, it is hard not to think that bit more fondly of it. Packed with watercooler moments, this perennial favourite is in a league of its own and deserves all the plaudits thrown at it, not least the two Olivier Awards it has garnered.

Originating bang in the middle of the West End, the show travels across the world before regularly coming back to London for Christmas. This year, things are a little different both on stage and off. The spiegeltent environment seen over the last couple of Yuletide runs has been replaced by the more prosaic Aldwych Theatre; also gone (at least on press night) are a few long time favourites in Australian acrobatic duo The English Gents and the comedy contortionist Captain Frodo.

Photo: Brinkhoff Mogenburg

Even without those three, the latest La Soirée outing is not short on hunks or chuckles. Thanks to the careful curation of stars from across the world, the atmosphere is still as intoxicating as ever and creative producer Brett Haylock has assembled yet another classy coterie of thrilling circus and comedy talent. Aerial tumblers The Chilly Brothers from Montreal are simply breathtaking as is the tandem pole routine from Malakhamb India. Up above, both Hackney's own LJ Marles and multi-talented vaudevillian Fancy Chance fly over the audience - one holding onto a pair of straps, the other hanging by her hair.

Photo: Brinkhoff Mogenburg

There's laughs aplenty many of which are definitely only for adult ears. Hailing from the Big Apple, the lanky Amy G zips around on roller skates, proclaiming that it is time that "pussy grabs back" as she drags men up on stage with aplomb and dollops of humour. Compatriots Daredevil Chicken thankfully prove that not everything that happens in Vegas stays there: their audacious juggling and magic antics test the boundaries of taste in ways that won't quickly be forgotten. The bunraku puppetry from Cabaret Decadanse is an amusing touch as is the iconic and daring towel routine from France's La Serviette.

If you only see one variety show this year then frankly you need to get out more but this is surely the one to see.

La Soirée, Aldwych Theatre, 49 Aldwych, WC2B 4DF. Until 3 February 2018.

Last Updated 01 December 2017