Douglas has been a professional food writer since 1986. He is also an award-winning actor and director in Community Theatre and has been for many years. His blog may be found at: www.urbaneguerilla.wordpress.com
Hot summer, hot acts, hot action, hot, hot, hot
La Soirée debuted in Perth at Fringe World last year and I was lucky enough to attend. I reviewed it, most favourably, even though the conditions were less than favourable.
Yammel Rodriguez (Photograph courtesy La Soiree)
This year I have also been fortunate enough to see a performance of this remarkable circus-cum-cabaret and I have to tell you that the show is a blend of new acts and performers and old favourites.
Satya (Photograph courtesy of La Soiree)
Before I talk about the performance I'd like to take a minute to talk about the show's concept and execution. The idea is simple - Cirque du soleil for grown-ups with added humour and speech. The level of skill is the same, the expertise exact. What is different is that there is adult, sometimes very adult, humour and a total lack of merchandising.
The level of professionalism is exceptionally high, everything carefully thought out and polished by many performances into a glowing jewel of entertainment.
Miss Frisky (Photograph by Olivia Rutherford)
The arena is unreserved so first come, first seated, we sat in the third row and it was perfect, close enough to have a perfect view and far enough from the front not to get 'volunteered'.
As soon as one enters you are completely subsumed into the theatrical experience. The circus music is deafening loud, focusing all your attention on the event. It has been said that a real intellectual can hear the overture to William Tell without thinking about The Lone Ranger. True or not, you certainly can't hear it without a quickening of the heart and blood.
A crescendo of music is followed by a burst of light and the MC, morphing into the singer Miss Frisky, a sultry songstress, followed by in quick succession by The English Gents (from last year also) a duo of incredibly skilled acrobats with unbelievable muscles and control, Mooky, a clown of impeccable timing and charm, Yammel Rodriguez, a very sexy aerialist on a single strap dressed minimally in leather and apparently no weight at all.
Then we had a new act - Mario, Queen of the Circus, (Clarke McFarlane) who had a grease-paint moustache a la Groucho and an accent from Lord-only-knows-where. He was very, very funny and the 'Queen' is the Freddy Mercury Queen, not anything else and we all happily sang along while he juggled and hoisted a hapless audience member on his shoulders while riding a unicycle.
All of the acts were excellent, some were breathtaking and to my eyes, extremely dangerous, but surprisingly the best received and most compelling act of all consisted of Denis Lock (one of the English Gents) blowing children's bubbles in a far from childish way.
Denis Lock (Photograph by Olivia Rutherford)
Filled with pipe smoke he created carousels, squares, volcanoes and a whole host of almost magical feats to absolute enraptured silence and thunderous applause.
But forget the details, go along and see for yourself, you'll be so glad you did.
Following rave reviews and packed houses, La Soireé will extend its season by one week with an additional eight performances. The season will now run until Sunday 13 March 2016 at the La Soirée Spiegeltent at a variety of times and prices - consult the Fringe World website for one that suits you and purchase tickets here.