La Soirée

  • Theatre
  • Circuses
Critics' choice
3 Love It
©Tristram Kenton
A scene from La Soiree @ La Soiree Spiegeltent at the Southbank Centre. (Opening 06-11-15) ©Tristram Kenton 10/15 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email:
©Tristram Kenton
A scene from La Soiree @ La Soiree Spiegeltent at the Southbank Centre. (Opening 06-11-15) ©Tristram Kenton 10/15 (3 Raveley Street, LONDON NW5 2HX TEL 0207 267 5550 Mob 07973 617 355)email:
Spiegeltent at the South Bank , South Bank Until Sunday January 17 2016

Catch a breathtaking melée of burlesque, vaudeville and circus sideshow in this returning show.

‘Leave your troubles at the door!’ Brett Haylock, master of ceremonies and godfather of the ‘La Soirée’ family says as the gilded gates of the Spiegeltent close. ‘It’s Sunday at the end of what must have been big weekend for all of you’. He pauses, with a devilish grin. ‘So why stop now. The bar is over there’.

Haylock and his carousel of weird and wonderful circus and cabaret performers know how to party. They’ve been throwing the best shindigs since 2004 when ‘La Clique’ (‘La Soirée’s older sister) burst onto the Edinburgh fringe and inspired a thousand hearts to run off with the circus (myself included, I was going to get Ursula Martinez to teach me that trick she does with a silk hanky).

Now with a hundred imitators clamouring at their mirrored doors, they are still the mistresses of sexy, subversive circus. Haylock keeps his line ups fresh by importing new talent alongside crowd favourites like the fabulous Mario Queen of the Circus and the bonkers and bendy Captain Frodo. And while there’s undoubtedly a bit of padding to be had in the two hour show, there are some crackers from the newcomers too.

Mooky Cornish has the unenviable job of being resident clown in a programme where jugglers and contortionists raise more laughs than most stand ups. Cornish sensibly offers up something different. Her act – which involves a very badly performed ‘dramatic scene’ among other things – walks an impressive line between the hackneyed and the startlingly original. Her mental slapstick routine – I honestly can’t think how else to describe the side steps she psychologically creates – subverts our expectations as much as makes us giggle.

Of the other newbies, Asher Treleaven’s louche ‘sexual gentleman’ is brilliantly bawdy: at one point seducing the audience with his diablo – careful ladies – the next delighting in the ridiculousness of soft porn literature. Yammel Rodriguez and Hamish McCann meanwhile raise more than just eyebrows with sexually charged aerial and pole routines that get pulses racing.

But it’s Denis Lock’s delicate bubble routine that steals hearts and minds this time round. This quiet and gentle sequence marries technical know-how with poetic artistry and harks back to a time when the study of science still contained magic and mystery. Stunning.

Find more Christmas shows in London

Venue name: Spiegeltent at the South Bank
Address: Southbank Centre
Belvedere Road
Transport: Tube: Waterloo
Price: £15-£67.50

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:28
  • 4 star:7
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:5
2 people listening
1 of 1 found helpful

I have never been to a circus in my life and I really did not know what to expect.  A friend of mine informed me at the end that this was a circus like no other.  I was expecting it to be slow paced and the classic acrobatic acts I will have seen on TV before but I was so very wrong.  This show had comedy, songs and some of the most amazing bubbles I have ever seen.  I could go on for days about the bubbles as it was the most spectacular things I have ever seen.  Honestly, go to this show just for the bubble act alone. 

Bubbles aside, there was some amazing comedy in this show that engaged the whole audience and even pulled some unknowing audience members into the action - it was not just the front row that got all the attention.  

They had 2 good sized bars as well to make sure the interval drinks moved quickly and the venue itself was very spacious but the ringside seats provided an up close look at the strength of the acrobats.  

The only downside to me is the cost, if I hadn't attended a Time Out event I do not know if I would be able to fork out for this normally but if you are looking for a great night out, this is a perfect idea. 

Michael N
1 of 1 found helpful

What a night ! A laughed , gasped , shuddered and was amazed in equal measure at La Soirée last night . The spiegeltent on the South Bank is an extraordinary and immersive venue - but not as extraordinary as La Soirée - hard to describe - it's hilarious and breath taking ! All the acts are superb but special me ruin to Mario Queen of the Circus - juggler and sexual adventurer ! And Denis Lock and Hamish McCann - extraordinary acrobats . A mention to Asher Treleavan would had me rolling in the aisles . I cannot recommend enough - go !!! If you fancy an office Xmas do you will be talking about for years or just a great night out - go to La Soiree ! I will definitejy be going back !!!

vittoria s
1 of 1 found helpful



Rostislava S
1 of 1 found helpful

Amazing, amazing show! So much fun and all the artists are really talented. Go and watch it!

Chris A
1 of 1 found helpful

Amazing! A huge variety of acts in a unique venue. They seem to have got their act together from previous poor reviews. A good mixture of acrobatics, burlesque, comedy, singing and some impressive bubbles!

Vera S
1 of 1 found helpful

Time to write an updated review! :)

We went to see the show yesterday and were absolutely blown away! Hilarious and fantastic show with excellent people, just the right amount of sexy and impressive, great music, hilarious and mind-blowing acts. I enjoyed it so much I seriously am considering going again!

Just the right length, fancy bar outside for drinks, and the whole atmosphere is set very well. Everyone is friendly and during the entire show you feel like you're part of it. I am actually quite difficult to make laugh, and I was in tears by the end of this show!

If you get a chance, by God don't miss this show!

Ros A
1 of 1 found helpful

How in god's name this got an average of 3 stars last season I simply don't know. This show is one of a kind - think cabaret, singing, comedy, little sketches, contortionists, amazing strength shows and so much more, all within a circus tent just behind the London Eye on the Southbank. So much fun and we just roared and roared with laughter throughout (and winced when the knife down the throat thing happened, always gets me). It's raucous, a bit saucy (so don't take your Dad unless he's one of those cool Dads) and just so much fun. 

It's a whole immersive experience as you come in, you'll be greeted by 1930s-esque staff who are patient and friendly and who will show you where to sit. 

It's a bit tricky to find (the tickets say Southbank Centre) but just head for the big tent outside near the Waterloo walking bridge, some extra signage might help but you'll find it.

1 of 1 found helpful

This was such an unexpectedly wonderful show, I went expecting a smaller scale typical cabaret, but actually it was amazing! From the venue, to

the production and especially the acts. They got a great mix of your usual cabaret acts, with that extra umph as well as a few unexpected and a bit different acts. I was engaged from start to finish, it kept me guessing what was coming next, and I was never not entertained by an act. Some of my favourites include bubbles, tennis racquets, a sexy book and a lamp post. The energy was great from the performers and the audience, especially for a Tuesday night, think it would be even better at a weekend.

They encourage you to get up and go to the bar freely, only downside is the rows of chairs are very narrow so it's not so easy to get up and down with out upsetting your neighbours!!

Great show! :-)

Livvi AT
1 of 1 found helpful

When I found myself entering the Spiegeltent at the South Bank on a Tuesday night, I had no idea what was in store. My friend had dragged me along last minute claiming something about a tennis racket- and there I was! However, if you fancy a night of pure, bonkers, and thrilling entertainment, check out La Soiree before it leaves in January. 

The acts themselves are fantastic; all are professional and provide wow factor moments, whether that's singing, acrobatics or juggling, yet all have a quirky, humorous twist so it becomes like no other show you have seen before. A personal favourite was the Dirty Diablo man who turned a regular circus trick into an act that was side splittingly funny. You can't help but cringe when one man dislocates his shoulders so he can fit through a tennis racket (now it makes sense!), but he does it in such a humorous and crazy way, you can't take our eyes off him!

With a bar which is open throughout the whole performance, it promises to be a fun filled night. The entire production is slick and although the night is bonkers, you also leave with an appreciation of the skills of all the acts. Get tickets before they pack up and move out!

1 of 1 found helpful

Brilliant show, with fantastic acts!

I went to La Soiree last year and loved it, so I had to return as soon I heard they were back.

The show can probably be summed up as circus with a twist. They take regular juggling and acrobatic acts and put a twist to it so that it becomes something like unique.

The stars of the show are probably the English Gents. Two guys who do the most amazing acrobatic feats, whilst casually reading a newspaper.

This is a really fun show and I can highly recommend seeing it. They have a bar, so I think this works really well as a night out with friends.

What to expect: Comedy, juggling, magic, singing, acrobatics, burlesque

What not to expect: Lions, elephants and a standard circus routine

Jon M
1 of 1 found helpful

Many of the reviews on here are from the 2011/12 run so Time Out needs to have a clearout!

Went Sunday 30th November and we had a great night, Saulo & Anna on the aerial pole are perfect, Asher Treleaven did a great diabolo routine and Hamish McCann was great on the pole. Also David & Fofo on the trapeze and playing with Ping Pong balls were amazing, lots of skill.

Scotty the blue bunny was.... special and Puddles Pity Party can really sing. Also Jonathan Burns is dangerous on the toilet!

Can't recommend this show enough, we saw it as La Clique back at the Hippodrome 5 yrs ago and only 2 of the acts we saw before were on tonight, so seeing new acts was perfect, some of whom haven't performed in the UK before joining this run of La Soiree.

2 of 3 found helpful

Great value, great fun.

I don't know what everyone below was expecting, but given that the reviews are mostly from two years ago, I feel we should have an update for 2014. We thoroughly enjoyed the show, laughed along (quite a lot!) and were very impressed by all the acrobatics. Some people may compare it to Cirque du Soleil, but I feel that is a little unfair, given the price and ambition! For what we paid (not much) it was great and I'd highly recommend it.

2 of 3 found helpful

I went with my friends and we all had a great time. I've read about it before, so I knew what's it going to be about. Funny, witty show with (too) amazing acrobatics, good looking fellas and some nudity (I've expected more, tbh, but hey - take it as a starter :-) I can't recommend enough. Reading some reviews here, I'm asking myself if we've seen the same show. 

Leanne M

I had an absolute ball - LOVED IT. I gasped, awed, oooooh'd and laughed throughout the whole show. Fast paced and full of talented people. I absolutely loved the bubbles and would go back for that alone - and those strong men - wow - they can lift and balance in ways I didn't think possible. I would definitely recommend to anyone!

Kirsty E

An excellent mix of magic, circus tricks, comedy and cheeky burlesque. This show will make you laugh and gasp in amazement. Some fantastic songs and awesome performances from incredibly talented performers.

An interesting venue which feels intimate but spacious enough. The bars are well stocked and serve a good variety of drinks. Audience participation is welcomed although at no point would anyone feel embarrassed or humiliated. Overall, a cracking night of entertainment.

Karayn C

La Soiree was so much more than I imagined it would be. I was expecting the standard circus type hoop and gymnastic acts. The acts were the perfect balance of undoubtable talent, strength, comedy, wonder... I really could go on. It was so much fun, I could not recommend this show more! 

Warwick W

If you haven't been to La Soiree - Where have you been? It's as perennial as Gran drinking sherry at Xmas. 

It's a must see. 

Words can't do it justice - Go see it for yourself.

Florian P

It's definitely NOT a circus. It's a mix between between circus and cabaret for adult. Amazing atmosphere, excellent show. You are very close to the stage so you feel part of the show. be careful if you choice the first row ....

Mr B

Unfortunatly nowhere near as good as last years wonderful performance.


Eschew the usual Christmas panto this year and head straight to La Soirée's Spiegeltent for something a bit darker and much more tantalizing. The critically-acclaimed variety show has returned to the Southbank for another season of thrills and eccentricity, boasting a solid line-up of cabaret stars, contortionists and acrobatic madcaps. I attended one of the early performances in early November 2015 and, despite seeing the show twice before, I was still brought to shrieks of horror and laughter (often by the same performance!).

This time around, the acts include some stalwarts of the cabaret scene, including the impressive display of strength and balance by The English Gents, the dysfunctional display of body manipulation of Captain Frodo and the powerful cabaret stylings of Miss Frisky, all who have previously graced the Spiegeltent. New additions to the La Soirée family include Yammel Ridriguez, who performs a devilishly sexy acrobatic act on a single strap, and Melanie Chy, who, after riding into the centre ring on a burly motorcycle, demonstrates incredible hand balancing talents.

The established La Soirée players keep the show fresh with some new pieces- including one half of the English Gents, Denis Lock, who mesmerised the audience with his astounding bubble art- or by adapting their performance to feed off the enthusiasm of the audience. Even when the inevitable technical hitch of a live performance stalls the show- like the curse of a malfunctioning microphone- the cast barely flinch and recover with ease.

The interior of the Spiegeltent has the audience sitting in the round, giving everyone a respectable view of the action, but the ringside seats are worth the investment. As a warning, some volunteers are pulled from the audience at random by the cast- especially those from the ringside section- and you might end up with a performer in your lap. The show runs approximately two hours with an intermission and there are well-stocked bars severing a good selection of beer and cider. Boxes of popcorn are toted by ushers during the break, but there’s more substantial food on offer outside of the tent.

London is awash with cabaret variety shows, but La Soirée has been a consistent audience pleaser since 2009, when it originated as La Clique- it’s got a naughty theatrical charm and a grown-up, scandalous character, but it’s all very highly entertaining. It’s post-watershed, but the most of the debauchery is verbal and tangled in euphemisms.  It’s a great night out for a couple- or, if you have something to celebrate- opt for an entire booth and watch the chaos from a safe distance.


I never thought I'd like that kind of show (I prefer classic drama). But it's just great. I was impressed and just very happy on this evening.

Hannah D

What a brilliant show! I haven't laughed so much in a long time! I have seen a number of similar shows and there tend to be a few good acts and some fillers in between. This show was great from start to end. A real pick me up!


La Soiree is a mix of all kinds of entertainment themed around a travelling circus. The show's been travelling the world for years now and, returning to London, features some regulars and some new and guest acts as well. You'll be dazzled by two incredibly strong balancing British businessmen, watch a hand balance act from Vegas on top of a motorbike, see a very peculiar guy thread himself through two tennis racquets and even be treated to a Mills and Boon reading with a difference. You're also actively encouraged to get up and grab yourself a drink at any time which is rare when watching a performance! It's great fun so if you want to be entertained, get down to the South Bank before the show ends on January 15th 2016.

Michael M

What a great evening's entertainment in a tent! We did not know what to expect but were thoroughly entertained by some incredible acrobatics, extremely funny performers and very bendy dude. 

The venue is a beautiful setting with all the amenities required for a great night out. I highly recommend this show.

Bonnie W

To be honest, I was expecting La Soiree to be a cheesy circus show, but I was very pleasantly surprised! La Soiree is a fantastic mix of comedy, acrobatics, burlesque and many more unexpected acts. The whole show from start to finish was so entertaining and I never knew what was coming next! Every performer was so incredibly talented and brought their own unique aspect to the show. I don't want to give away too much because part of the enjoyment of the show is not knowing what to expect. All I can say is that La Soiree makes for an awe-inspiring, funny, shocking, incredible night out!!

O. Gordon

Walking in, you are greeted with a great atmosphere. Memories of circus performances from the past flood through my mind. With a large variety of acts, there isn't really time to let your mind wander. The show keeps you engaged throughout and never feels like it's 2 hours long. There is definitely a big gulf between performers however, although a lot of this will be down to personal preference. For me, several acts just didn't push the boundaries far enough or came out with routines I'd seen countless times before (my father loves the circus so I have been to quite a few!). Some seemed superfluous to the show with their fellow entertainers performing similar or better routines. 

Standout routines have to be The English Gents (nothing new here but a well thought out Strong man act), the brilliant slapstick comedy routine of contortionist Captain Frodo and the utterly mesmerising bubble act from Denis Lock. What adds even more weight to the two performances from Denis Lock are how they juxtapose each other. From brute strength to dexterity( both requiring a good understanding of physics), he could well have a been a character straight out the the video game Street Fighter.

Ultimately, there are better circus's out there but if you want a good night out, or just something different, you can't really go wrong. For those circus aficionados, go anyway just to take in the routines from Denis Lock and Captain Frodo. 

Karishma P

We had great fun last evening at this show. Most of the performers were quite amazing. We were either laughing out loud or holding our breath in anticipation for most of the show.

The only person I felt sorry for was the poor audience guy who got called out as a supporting feature in Mooky's act, though he was a really good sport about it.

The English Gents were hands down the most amazing part of the show for us. The bubble blowing and the final pole dance were the sparkles on the cherries on the icing on the cake.

Mario, Mooky, Frodo & Asher were hilarious. I'll never be able to read another "romantic" scene in any novel again without remembering Asher's book reading act. And my sister, inspired by Frodo, wants to carry confetti with her everywhere & sprinkle when needed.

Loved the show, might just watch it again with some other friends who could do with a good laugh.

Yolande S

I didn't realise you could laugh so hard, scream so loud and be so amazed that you'd give yourself a headache! Last night I went to La Soiree and experienced things I didn't think I would. I have never seen such daring acrobatics, such silly slapstick, gravity defying feats and slick, stylised acts. Not to mention audience participation and beautiful singing. There was even a crowd surf. When did Tuesday become the new Friday? Go to La Soiree, you won't be disappointed. Did I mention the bubbles, oh my the bubbles with that music and that commentary, beautiful, just beautiful. Go! See for yourself!

Endaf K

A really fun night out - lots of variety, some eye-opening acts, great atmosphere, wonderful space. Recommended.

Susan B

Fantastic evening--great skills,humour and talent in diverse well paced acts--great 'feel good' factor--perfect venue--left smiling!


I'll start with my only criticism - Wondergound itself is a little tricky to find - just follow the rainbow fencing and turn right at the bottom of the slope, just before the restaurants.  

I don't want to give anything away but I was lucky enough to see this show last night and it's just the best show in town at the moment.  I laughed, I ooh'd and ah'd, I held my breath, I cringed and was even moved.  This show basically has everything you could want on an evening out, it's true entertainment at its best and I promise you won't fail to be enchanted by the weird and wonderful cast of La Soiree.  I can't wait to go back! 

Lee J

For sheer entertainment value this show was incredible. Very talented performers, great fun. With one act in particular (the contortionist) I laughed more than I have in years. Despite the photo, it is not a gigantic hen-night. Go!!!


UPDATE IN 2015: To all 1star reviewers below ...sorry but l must have been to completely different show! It was fantastic. It WILL make you laugh & will make you go "woah" more than once. I recommended it to all my friends now:) 

Such a great night out. I was skeptical because l really don't like circus and would never pay to go to see one...but this is NOT a circus show. It's a very talented & funny group of people that will keep you entertained from 1st to the last minute. Great variety - moving swiftly from impressive acrobatics, bit of magic, bit of stand up comedy & cabaret. 

PS. You would be pleased to know that its is an ADULT show (strong-ish language & sexual nature content). Just go & enjoy it!

Alex F

La Soirée is an amazing show. I don't want to go into great detail about what goes on as I want to save the surprise for anyone lucky enough to go. They have everything from comedy, music, shows of strength from acts that will leave you amazed and in awe. The balance of the show feels just right, there is never a dull moment and for me was one of the best shows I have seen for a long time.

I any tips I would suggest if you're in the ringside get there about 45 minutes before the show starts to get the best seats and it's a cash bar for food and drink

0 of 1 found helpful

I liked the show. It was funny, music was great and entertainment was good enough for Sat night. Don't know what people are moaning about-did you really expect to clap your hands at some magician taking rabbits out of his hat? This is not that kind of a show. At least I wasn't lazy to check the information before buying the tickets, so I knew exactly what to expect. There wasn't any disappointment. Loved it.

gerard k
0 of 2 found helpful

I have been lucky to have seen some really good entertainment in my life. This was not one of disappointedit was so bad I feel really cheated that someone actually took my money.They must have laughed at the end of the evening knowing how many had paid good money for such rubbish.Terrible terrible terrible.

0 of 2 found helpful

We went to a show and was slightly disappointed. The show reminded me of a school drama performance. Except for an "English man"(the name of the character) on a pole, everyone else was slightly unprofessional. The hoola-hoop lady dropped her hoola-hoop and it went sraight into the audience, mime version of Natalie Imbruglia's 'Torn' that's such an old stuff and blunt jokes... Anyway, I wouldn't recommend it to my friends.

a cameron
0 of 3 found helpful

altogether amateur and utterly embarassing. where DOES this audience come from to clap and cheer at such vulgarity, not to mention the mimed singing performed at a rate of decibels to cause permanent deafness. cruise booze entertainment at its lowest - this is NOT anything like cirque de soleil - do not make our mistake. WALKED OUT. Terrible.

0 of 3 found helpful

Lame show, black humor, nice acrobatics, but that's it. Nothing special, I'd better go and watch Cirque du Soleil third time.

0 of 3 found helpful

Don't go expecting to see the acts that garnered the five star reviews as they've all been shipped off to Sydney to impress the critics over there. What's left is extremely disappointing. Le Gateau's replacement in particular - his excessive screeching is embarrassingly unfunny. A few delightful highlights, but generally a big let down.