fringe: la soirée

la soirée - cabaret decadance, nate cooper, up and over it, the english gentlemen, captain frodo, mario queen of the circus, the wau wau sisters, david o'mer, marawaIt turns out that La Soirée is just as good the second time around.

And due to the nature of the rotating line-up, there was a mixture of some of the best of last year's show, plus a whole range of new acts... which made it not necessarily better, but a different experience from last time.

This time around the show felt more high energy somehow... either because a lot of the music choices were really fast paced (I had a theory that they play really fast music as everybody is coming into the venue so that people feel compelled to choose their seat faster) or because I've forgotten what the vibe was like last year.

The only downside was my neighbouring audience members who got progressively more drunk and obnoxious as the show went on.

But I didn't let that detract from the amazing show...

Cabaret Décadanse

How do you start the show if you don't have the big black diva that is Le Gateau Chocolat on hand? You get Cabaret Decadanse to bring along their puppet diva instead!

We first saw these guys back in 2009 at the Cabaret Festival... and they're even better than I remember. From the diva to the dancing granny with puppeteer legs to the crossdressing stripper who was just a puppet head with a puppeteer body, the life they put into what is essentially scraps of material is amazing.

The Wau Wau Sisters

Now THIS is how you do a female circus/trapeze act!

Strong women doing a strong routine without all the delicate girly posing.

Throw in some 80's hairmetal outfits and a lot of attitude and I can see now why people have always said good things about the Wau Wau's.

Mario: Queen of the Circus

Mario still loves the music of Queen, still loves black leather... but most of all Mario still loves Mario.

It's always fun to watch him pick out an unsuspecting audience member for his unicycle trick... they never know what the hell is about to happen to them.

Nate Cooper

Nate Cooper is just flat out crazy. I'm not quite sure what to make of his act to be honest... it was mostly comedy/slapstick with a little juggling thrown in at the end.

I'm not completely sure where the crossdressing comes into it.

The English Gentlemen

Everything I said about Denis Lock and Hamish McCann last time is still true... they are two of the most amazing acrobats I've ever seen, plus being very nice to look at once they've stripped down to their Union Flag shorts.

We only got McCann's solo routine this time... which I prefer of the two anyway... with the Singing In The Rain vibe and the incredible way he appears to walk on thin air are all just as amazing the second time around.

Captain Frodo

Likewise even though I knew exactly what was coming with two of Captain Frodo's numbers, they were still incredibly enjoyable to watch.

And although the sword swallowing is impressive, it's perhaps not as visually spectacular as his other two routines, the tennis rackets and the tower.

But Frodo truly is the heart of La Soirée...

I still love his speech towards the end of the show about seeing how strange the things are that La Soirée does to earn a living, maybe those ideas the audience may have had about doing something different with their lives don't seem so strange.


While equally skilled with the hula hoop, Marawa is kind of the opposite of Yulia who I saw last time.

Yulia played it very straight the whole time, but Marawa has a definite sense of fun about the whole thing... from the roller skates to the light up hoops, she's a bundle of energy and a ton of fun to watch.

Up And Over It

Suzanne Cleary and Peter Harding are brilliant as the knocked about, drunk, feral Irish Dancers...

And even though their routine takes place almost entirely while they're sitting down, it's one of the most high energy routines of the whole show, and really cleverly done.

Both Cleary and Harding brim over with personality even though neither of them say anything beyond incomprehensible yells.

David O'Mer

I don't think I can sum up The Boy In The Bath any better than I did last year...

"And then there was David, buff, gorgeous and dressed only in jeans, sliding into the bath and then launching himself over the crowd in dripping denim.

He's a master of the aerial straps, and wound himself up and down and spun and swung and dropped... and managed to be completely sexy and playful while doing it all!"

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