Saturday, 29 November 2014

Chapter 51: La Soirée

Pushing along a buggy a few years ago and struggling for breath, metaphorically-speaking, I stopped in front of a bus stop in Balham.  There, resplendent, was a poster advertising the circus coming to town. La Soirée.  The name conjured up exotic allure, the sepia tones in the picture, maybe a memory overlay, promised sultry fun. Just out of my reach, still I took a picture of it and sent it to a friend. This is right up your street, I said. Saw it last year at the Roundhouse, came the reply. Go! You'd love it! And so I did ... last night.  

La Soirée is now in the big top Spiegeltent on South Bank. Spiegel means play, right? So a play-space then, home to a mash-up of circus and cabaret acts. And come Friday night, boy, were we ready for that. And the South Bank was ready for us. The Christmas market was open and everyone was in festive mode. Mulled wine and wienerschnitzel, pints of beer and hog roast, jam-packed wooden walk-ways and fairy-lights leading like a latter-day yellow brick road all the way to the glittering Spiegeltent. Magical.

There was a bar inside the tent where we topped up with mulled wine, and then were guided to our seats by an über-charming prohibition-styled usher who also carried my booze for me, having astutely assessed the risk potential presented by my heels, the scalding drinks and the grooves in the floor. There were rows of free-seating, as ever, with a few tables dotted around, and booths at the back. The evening itself veered between moments that were laugh out loud funny, touching and simply astonishing. I was delighted to find that my man, who can be so blasé, was completely enthralled from the first to the last. I can't tell you why exactly - they don't hand out the programme until after the show for good reason - but I am itching to tell you something without giving the game away. So I've answered this conundrum with a puzzle. Below are the initials of the performers we saw. You can make sense of them if you know the show, and if you don't, hopefully you'll get the flavour, and a taste for more.

Go! You'd love it! And if you ask nicely, I'll come again with you ...

tEG: Bowlered these maidens over, gentlemen. Ripped reality. Wow.

JL:  Buckets of pizzazz and cheek, gallons of skill.

MMmmm: You deserve your own confetti, love. 

JB: Flexing more than just our laughter muscles. Geek love. 

HM: Sex on a stick, so smooth, left us feeling good. 

AT: Uncorked mellifluousness and forked tongue slayde us. A novel bedtime story...

SS&ADC: Soaring, smouldering, sexy, spell-binding and utterly compelling.  

D&F: Hypnotising routine. Science can explain how they do it, but still lost in wonder.

StBB: Fame precedes tail, one sexy bunny. 

UM: De putamadre, de verdad, mujer con cojones, agua sin gas y dos cervezas por favor.

PPC: Cohen's Clown. I will always look up to you. Hallelujah!

La Soirée is showing until 11th January, 2015.

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