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La Soiree review at the Spiegeltent, London – ‘utterly unmissable’

Yammel Rodriguez in La Soiree at the Spiegeltent, London. Photo: Tristram Kenton

The Australian-born, subversive, variety circus show La Soiree has become a London seasonal fixture, and it couldn’t be more welcome. Now returning for its sixth season in the capital, here’s an adult alternative to panto that’s about participation, exhilaration and laughter – often all at once.

With an ever-changing line-up of speciality acts, the show is full of old favourites, old favourites doing new things, and acts that are new to London. I don’t think I’ll ever tire, for instance, of the extraordinary and sexy human balancing act of the English Gents, where one does a handstand on the other’s head, or is lifted in the air, using just one hand, from a lying position. Or of the solo turn of Hamish McCann, one of the two gents, who does a horizontal dance on a large pole that makes it look like he’s flying.

Meanwhile, the other gent, Denis Lock, newly does a supremely skilful (and even uniquely erudite) display with smoke and bubbles that’s no smoke and mirrors, but the real deal. There’s a lot of genuine eccentricity on offer, too, along with dazzling skills. Captain Frodo’s spectacular double-jointed contortionist act, in which he manages to fold himself through the heads of two tennis rackets simultaneously, now sees him swallowing swords, too.

Mario, Queen of the Circus still crowd-surfs the audience to the accompaniment of Queen’s We Are the Champions, and he is also a championship juggler. Asher Treleaven does amazing things with a diabolo, but also now steals the show with his deadpan delivery of a pulsating erotic story.

You watch with open-mouthed astonishment (and just occasionally revulsion), when you’re not simply doubled-up with laughter. Utterly unmissable.

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Joyous, crazy, sexy and as wildly entertaining as ever. I simply love this show