La Soirée translates as ‘the evening’ in the English language. The title, jovial sounding, doesn’t give too much away, this forming the show’s appeal. Returning for its 14th year at the newly refurbished Aldwych Theatre, the audience favourite offers its usual brand of the unusual and the outlandish.
From the collection of tickets at the box office, to the finding of the perfect seat in the auditorium, the La Soirée and Aldwych Theatre teams are on hand to ensure that this theatre experience is as relaxed and welcoming as humanly possible. The level of care taken to attend to all is refreshing; the friendly atmosphere only heightening the experience. Brett Haylock, the show’s producer and Ringmaster disbands the barrier often established between the audience and the performer. Haylock supports the box office as well as making sure everything is running to plan. He then expertly switches to performance mode, charismatically introducing the evening ahead. Haylock’s immersion within the show highlights the spirit of Cabaret; he is at the heart of La Soirée and this is endearing.
La Soirée’s concept is a simple one; a variety of acts from the world’s of Cabaret and circus showcase their incredible talents. This format guarantees that a variety of tastes will be catered for, certain acts appealing to certain audience members. Mallakhamb India astound with their effortless ability to work both in sychronicity as a duo and independently as they climb, balance, tumble and suspend from the mallakhamb. An audience favourite, their upbeat personalities boost audience morale. Amy G humours the crowd with her playful ability to switch personas. Whether she’s declaring her love to an unsuspecting audience member in a flamenco inspired melodramatic segment, or playing the kazoo (not with her mouth) as she takes on an all American sweetheart persona this depicts exactly what La Soirée is all about. It’s a labyrinth of surprise that continually keeps you questioning at every turn.
Cabaret Decadanse are a presence all of their own, their puppetry creations an absolute joy to watch. Andre-Anne LeBlanc and Stephen Quinlan manipulate a trio of loveable puppets. The accuracy in regards to the puppets’ lip syching and the well thought out body placements are expertly done that the audience find themselves engrossed in every performance, this in result is magical.
Leon and Klodie showcase their artistry and chemistry with a Fifty Shades of Gray inspired routine performed to Beyonce’s Sultry rendition of Crazy in Love for the film. Both work as a true partnership here, Leon’s ability to support Klodie, especially with one-armed lifts demonstrates their effortless strength. Michele Clark dazzles with an inspired hula hoop routine. Clark’s routine navigates its way through the use of one hoop, to magnetically charging three hoops so that they suspend in the air, to revolving multiple hoops, Clark displays an undeniable skill set and sense of focus.
The Chilly Brothers show no fear when tackling the Russian Cradle. Partnership is absolutely crucial here, both Maxime Blankaert and Nathan Briscoe making for a daring duo. Blankaert serves as the duo’s foundation, supporting Briscoe as he performs death defying one handed handstands and swings from a heart thumping height. LJ Marles is dynamic on the aerial straps, he gracefully swings over the watching crowd, a feat that ismesmerising to watch.
LJ Marles and Leon Fagbemi return with La Serviette, a cheeky sequence involving the duo strategically manouvering a towel protecting their modesty. A light hearted routine, the sequence embodies the evening’s tongue in cheek nature. Lea Hins brings an air of calm, her aerial hoop routine showcasing her strength and grace. Fancy Chance’s unbelievable hair hanging sequence draws gasps from the audience. Daring in concept, Fancy Chance glides over the crowd, her sequence mustering a mixture of emotion; an element of fear yet a sense of calm. Comperes Daredevil Chicken offer their unique brand of clowning. Marc and Svetlana are audacious from start to finish, whether it’s their shocking take on juggling involving bananas or incorporating an audience member within one of their many zany skits. They are a memorable couple, kudos to their fearlessness.
La Soirée is the perfect Christmas treat with edge, go to open your eyes as to what’s happening theatrically in London. 3.5/5
Review written by Lucy Basaba.
La Soirée is currently showing until Saturday 3rd February 2018 at the Aldwych Theatre. To find out more about the production, visit here…