La Soiree *****

La Soiree is back in London this winter, wreaking havoc in the West End. Humbled to be housed at the Aldwych Theatre, this show of oddities is brave, daring and out-and-out hilarious. With the theatre part transformed into a dinner club reminiscent of the 1940’s, there is a feeling of prohibition and naughtiness from the outset, in a show that oozes sex appeal.

This is the company’s eighth season, and it continues to go from strength to strength. From its roots as an after-hours club night at the Edinburgh Fringe, La Soiree has taken over opera houses, travelled the globe and headlined the circus field at Glastonbury. There’s been numerous gongs too, including two Olivier Awards for Best Entertainment and it’s not difficult to understand why.

The show opens as it means to go on, with a bang. Audiences are wowed by a huge, sassy puppet performing along to If You Could Read My Mind; a hilarious puppet feast for adults controlled by Andre-Anne Le Blanc and Stephen Quinlan of Montreal’s Cabaret Decadanse. What then follows is a variety of weird and wonderful performances: the ancient art of Mallakhamb; the Russian Cradle; aerial artistry; gymnastics; dancers; hair-hanging; hula-hooping; and truly funny stand-up comedy, all feature.

By bringing together artists from across the world and putting them into one show, La Soiree guarantees only the very best acts are on offer: they’re all brilliant! With something for everyone and a good pace, there’s no time to get restless. In fact, the only downer is when the raucousness has to come to an end. This show is a delight from start to finish – unmissable – and a perfect way to shake off the winter blues.

Review by Darren Luke Mawdsley

Playing until Saturday 3rd February 2018 at The Aldwych Theatre
Booking link – Buy Tickets here from £10

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