La Soiree takes circus performance to new heights

IN these times of austerity, there has rarely been a greater need for some in-your-face outrageousness.

Up steps the cast of London’s latest circus show La Soiree – a troupe of performers who can’t be accused of following the herd when it comes to the goings on inside the Big Top.

The usual suspects, including a contortionist, hula hoop performer, acrobats and sword swallower take to the stage with plenty of energy and a little more imagination than your average circus eccentric.

But, just like Mr Osborne earlier this week, they have no plans to ease you in slowly.

So we start, as most people do, with a little contortionism.

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In the confines of the intimate marquee, an up-close-and-personal viewing of the wiry Captain Frodo manipulating his arms to such effect that they appeared to sprout out of his inner shoulder blades - as if that were the most normal thing in the world - drew both cheers and gulps.

The Norwegian play dough performer proceeded to push both limb and torso through a ten inch tennis racket.

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Less stomach-churning was double act the English Gents, whose effortless combined acrobatics allowed them to balance as one.

At one point, the slightly smaller of the pair stood on the other’s head unaided and at another, he held his entire weight on his partner’s unfaltering forearm.

It was performance acrobatics at its most sublime.

Another performer, David O’Mer, made beautiful shapes in a bath half filled with water.

Using suspended ropes to haul his buff body in and out of the tub, flicking water with every purposeful movement along the way, this one was most definitely a treat for the ladies.

Other acts failed to live up to the high bar the acrobats had set, but a comedy desperado who had a bloke from the audience miming his undying love for her after a series of prompts scribbled on her body for him to read out was particularly amusing.

At around two hours including an interval, some of La Soiree’s acts come in bite-sized portions.

But the jovial feel of the show coupled with some innovative ideas about where circus performance is going makes it all worthwhile.


La Soiree runs until January 30 at the Big Top behind the National Theatre on the South Bank.

Call 0843 221 0999 or go to to book.

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