‘Something for everyone’: LA SOIREE – West End

In Cabaret, Circus, London theatre, Opinion, Reviews by Shanine SalmonLeave a Comment

Aldwych Theatre, London – until 3 February 2018

An international cabaret phenomenon, La Soirée has been seen for the last few years in places like the Spiegeltent at London Wonderground, but it makes the leap across the river to the West End and nails the landing.

For those unfamiliar, La Soirée (formerly known as La Clique) has been on the go for around a decade, and is a variety night, with no shortage of variety.  The sheer array of global talent on display is its main strength. For their West End run, the show covers bases from puppetry to acrobatics to comedy to cabaret-style musical numbers. And with each act nailing it, it’s hard not to find something to love.

Wisely reconfiguring the front third of the Aldwych Theatre stalls section into a more intimate thrust surround, and making use of the on-stage space for ‘posh’ seats (where audience interaction is practically guaranteed), the show nails its colours to the mast early on by stressing that the bar is open throughout and audience members are free to come and go as they please.

This light-hearted atmosphere extends to the show at large. Cabaret veteran Amy G makes multiple appearances, ranging from a rollerskating flamenco dancer looking for her guapo (hint: it could be you) to a kazoo number that’s as patriotic as it is anatomically impossible. Daredevil Chicken do things with a banana that have the audience gasping, then groaning and then just outright screaming.

As well as the comedy, there are physical acts on display, ranging from the skillful to the death-defying, with particular highlights including Michele Clark’s hula hoop display and The Chilly Brothers’ Russian Cradle set.

With an evening as varied as this, there is almost certainly something for everyone to enjoy here. While there may be a saturation point of the amount of times it’s possible to watch someone twirl in the air and be fully in awe of it in so short a time, the show is cleverly structured to just stay its welcome and no more. It may be a different prospect to the usual West End fare, but that is no bad thing. After all, you don’t make it to La Soirée without daring to be different.

 

Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.
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Shanine Salmon on RssShanine Salmon on Twitter
Shanine Salmon
Shanine Salmon was a latecomer to theatre after being seduced by the National Theatre's £5 entry pass tickets and a slight obsession with Alex Jennings. She is sadly no longer eligible for 16-25 theatre tickets but she continues to abuse under 30 offers. There was a market for bringing awareness that London theatre was affordable in an era of £100+ West End tickets – Shanine’s blog, View from the Cheap Seat, launched in April 2016, focuses on productions and theatres that have tickets available for £20 and under. She is also quite opinionated and has views on diversity, pricing, theatre seats and nudity on stage. Her interests include Rocky Horror, gaming, theatre (of course) and she also has her own Etsy shop. Shanine tweets at @Braintree_.

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