Time Out says
The cheeky cabaret circus is back for a West End run
It’s about one hour into the show and a shy-looking audience member named Warren has just been asked to smell a circus performer’s vagina. The performer is topless, save for two nipple tassels that appear to be made out of human hair, and she’s waggling a wig (that was previously in her pants), in Warren’s face. ‘That’s all me, baby!’ she says as he leans in gingerly to take a sniff. The audience screams.
This is ‘La Soirée’, the rude, crude, circus-cabaret that’s currently making its West End debut at the Aldwych Theatre. That’s a pretty mainstream venue for a show that has its roots in the Edinburgh Fringe, but ‘La Soirée’ hasn’t compromised on the naughtiness: if you don’t glimpse at least one bare dick over the course of its dozen dazzling acts, I suggest you ask for your money back.
Some of the sauce is brilliant: two naked men (Leon Fagbemi and LJ Marles) do a hilarious, surprisingly beautiful routine, passing two tiny white towels between them – the timing is fantastic, their movements almost mime-like. It’s raunchy, yes, but it feels meaningful, too. Other highlights include the genuinely jaw-dropping Fancy Chance (Veronica Thompson), who soars across the Aldwych Theatre suspended by her own hair.
Other acts lack magic. Set to the kind of music you might hear in the last five minutes of a spin-class, some of the acrobatics aren’t all that graceful. There’s also a Las Vegas-inspired ‘husband and wife’ act called Daredevil Chicken who mainly run around tormenting audience members; as well as the vag-sniffing, at one point they lick a man’s bald scalp. It gets a bit annoying.
And then there’s the stuff that just feels plain misjudged. In one wildly insensitive moment, Daredevil Chicken make a ‘samosa’ joke about two South Asian performers. That would be bad enough if it were an isolated incident, but ‘La Soirée’ opens with two white puppeteers (André-Anne Le Blanc and Stephen Quinlan), manipulating a highly caricatured puppet of a black woman.
And that’s the thing about ‘La Soirée’: it often feels like it’s trying to be shocking for the sake of it. Still, with an edited programme, this would be fun for a hen night or a debauched office Christmas party. I can’t stop thinking about those tiny white towels…
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Users say (74)
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:40
- 4 star:18
- 3 star:7
- 2 star:2
- 1 star:6
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 !!!
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! :-)
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.
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.
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.
This show was just fantastic! I went along with my friends and made an evening of it with dinner and drinks. The show has a line up of many different acts, all different and daring but in many ways. You will be amazed, you will be shocked, you may even cringe! Set with a fantastic soundtrack, you and your friends will enjoy this show!
I had the chance of seeing La Soirée a couple of years ago in the Southbank circus venue and was wondering how their debut in the West End would happen. It feels different but it's such a great entertainment for a night out! Big laughs, breathtaking acrobatic performances and a lot nudity and naughty comments (it feels a bit too much sometimes) The multi-million-pound refurbishment of the Aldwych Theatre is another reason to go. It's beautiful and couldn't be more suitable for La Soirée performances. Be aware that the seats are unreserved! Enjoy the fun!
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.
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.
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!
A really fun night out - lots of variety, some eye-opening acts, great atmosphere, wonderful space. Recommended.
Fantastic evening--great skills,humour and talent in diverse well paced acts--great 'feel good' factor--perfect venue--left smiling!
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!
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