Scotch and Soda

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

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The Aussie circus troupe provide a boisterously fun night out.

Theming something as highly skilled and precise as circus around a boozy, blurry night out might seem like a strange choice. But, actually, as played here, its brand of spectacle-filled showmanship works as a lovely, slyly funny fit with the kind of alcohol-fuelled bravado you might see on a messy Friday evening.

Scotch & Soda capitalises on this, as its line-up of acrobats and musicians make their London debut as a company. Led by acrobats Chelsea McGuffin and David Carberry, with music by Ben Walsh’s Crusty Suitcase jazz band, they’re the latest talented troupe of Aussie circus artists to find a home from home on the South Bank.
The atmosphere in the Spiegeltent is great, as the company swish scotch bottles in time to the swagger of the live band, all dressed like the raffish denizens of a back-alley speakeasy. Their acts escalate like a series of dares. And there’s a clownish quality as they chuck everything they’ve got at each other.
The fusion of dance, music and circus skills works a treat. There are plenty of wow moments and some inventive feats of balance. (It’s all a far cry from drunkenly proving you can walk along a wall.) This is a show with big balls – quite literally at times. If you’re easily offended, be warned: there’s willy-waggling.
If this impressive show – which, thankfully, doesn’t outstay its welcome like an actual drunk – is missing anything, it’s a real bear-hug embracing of the audience. For something so big on boisterous fun, playing more to the crowd wouldn’t hurt.



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