Circus show La Soiree is an antidote to festive schmaltz

The creators of risqu� variety show La Soiree know only too well that the festive season isn’t all about glittery props and family-friendly schmaltz.

Back for another winter run, this latest circus offering from the brains behind smash hit La Clique is, in fact, far from suitable for the little angels.

What it is, though, is fast, fun and inclusive.

I cite the last adjective because I don’t think I’ve ever been to a show which has made such entertaining use of onlookers sitting safely (or so they think) in the front row.

Sticking two fingers up to all that health and safety nonsense is what this show is all about and saw one woman plucked from the crowd to be told she would soon have the life-altering experience of riding a unicycle.

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Cut to two minutes later and she was doing just that – atop a leather-clad, Freddie Mercury enthusiast’s shoulders.

Shortly after, another pretty young punter was hoisted between the interlocked arms of a roller skating duo and spun around horizontally for what was about ten seconds but, from the look on her face as she stumbled back to her chair, clearly seemed like two hours.

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La Soiree is a sort of naughty Cirque du Soleil, with technically impressive acrobatics but just a bit more chutzpah.

The acts are all short and succinct which sometimes leaves you wanting a bit more, but also gives the show energy.

Among them, pole dancing English Gent Hamish McCann proved that balancing sideways on the strength of his arms to Nina Simone’s Feeling Good beats anything that ever came out of Spearmint Rhino and Hugo Desmarais and Katharine Arnold didn’t flinch as they intertwined their bodies in mid-air while navigating a spinning metal frame.

This bunch are the antidote to Christmas cheese but, as they are on stage for just shy of two hours without the interval, don’t seem to be around for long enough.

La Soiree is at the Roundhouse until January 29.


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