La Soirée at Aldwych TheatreCultureTheatre
After seven years, one may think they have seen it all from the award-winning cabaret-circus La Soirée. Innovation and creativity, though, are the key ingredients that keep this show fresh and dazzling.
The energy and joy released from this Christmas lineup is terrific. Short and effective, the many different sketches run smoothly for two hours, making us sway between laughter and awe. The slinky singer of Cabaret Decadanse opens the night, exciting the audience with her flexible movements. The puppets animated by this duo do not involve special effects or extremely complicated articulations, but the hilarity and natural flow of the performances are simply unmissable.
There are breathtaking premieres, such as the powerful art of Mallakhamb, performed for the first time out of Mumbai by Rajesh Amrale and Rajesh Rao, as well as naughty acts like the appearances by Daredevil Chicken. If acrobatic gymnastics are a safe bet under the marquee, the sensuality of the dance by Leon and Klodi is intense and enrapturing in comparison. From a completely different region comes a display of strength and the power of lifting performed by the Chilly Brothers – Maxime and Nathan – who spin and swing in mid air only by the linking of their arms, as if they were using elastic ropes. The precise vaults of LJ Marles’s aerial straps and the hypnotic hula-hooper Michele Clark are two other fine highlights of the night.
Balancing saucy cabaret with astounding flips and gymnastics, the show beautifully alternates the two components of its format. After a first round comprising of exceptional performances, however, the second part loses a bit of its verve. Featuring mostly punchy humorists, the night moves to slapstick and irreverent acts, gradually limping in their extremes. The lewd nature of these moments shapes the need for a more family friendly version of La Soirée – La Petite Soirée, also at the Aldwych Theatre for this festive season – offering children the same hilarious and breathtaking production without the bawdiness.
The lights, the smoke, and the beating music all play their role in adding the magic that turns convoluted exercises into elegant performances. There is something peculiar about attending such a night in a theatre rather than open air or inside a tent. There is an attempt to recreate a more intimate atmosphere with some seating and small groups on the stage itself, but the posh seats diminish the normal level of participation for other members of the audience.
La Soirée is at Aldwych Theatre from 24th November 2017 until 3rd February 2018. Book your tickets here.
Watch the trailer for La Soirée here: