You will have seen the posters for La Soiree all over London town, a show which has evolved from recent hit La Clique, and we were curious to know if the show justified the hype. There was only one way to find out so (what else?) we decided to run away to the circus.
Situated behind National Theatre, the Big Top has a couple of bars which you can visit at any time before or during the show. Seating is in the round so you are pretty much guaranteed a decent view wherever you sit. Which is a good thing, as what you see is quite amazing. For starters, there's Captain Frodo, a Norwegian contortionist who can effortlessly dislocate and bend his joints every which way but loose somehow squeezing his body through a couple of tennis racquets (one smaller than the other). We gawped while others looked away when he swung his forearm around his head like a rattle. To top it off, Frodo has great charm and self-effacing humour making him an all-round star.
The cast will likely change every night but you’ll do well to catch Mooky’s act; this Canadian comedienne brings the house down with her improvised duet. In a bodyhugging PVC dress, Miss Behave sets tongues wagging by inserting a rose through her own while Marawa is a hula-hooping harlequin queen. Cabaret Decadance’s life-size puppets do the shimmy-shimmy-shake thanks to their two expert handlers.
In a turnup for the books, most of the bare flesh on view here is male. The highly muscled English Gents perform together and individually to eye-popping effect while David O’Mer’s bath-based acrobatics leaves some ringside seats wet (and perhaps a few others too).
There’s enough in La Soiree to keep anyone entertained. The show strikes a fine balance between humour and action and the two hour running time passes far too quickly. The only downside was the cost of the programme which is marked as a recession-unfriendly £10 but given away freely on press night.
Tickets are from £15 (standing) and La Soiree goes on until January 30 2011 with a special New Year's Eve showing. Tickets and more information are available here.
Until October 30, Canadian human circus show Traces is a handy alternative at the Peacock Theatre, Sadler's Wells.