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Review: LA SOIREE, Spiegeltent South Bank, Nov 6 2015

La Soiree's dysfunctional family are back in town, and what a seasonal treat they are.

Admittedly I have to declare an interest in this particular performance - my companion for the evening was lured on to the stage by the marvellous Mooky, in character as wannabe actress Gloria, to act as her Tony in a West Side Story skit. (No, he wasn't a plant. Yes, he's considering running off to join the circus now.)

But even without that, I've been a fan of this very special circus cabaret since it first rolled into London with a residency at the Hippodrome. Some of my favourites from that run are part of this year's company - Captain Frodo, Bjorn Borg-esque headband still intact as he contorts himself through a pair of tennis racquets; Mario, Queen of the Circus, crowdsurfing to the strains of 'We Are The Champions' as Brian May looks on benignly from the VIP area; and the English Gents, stunning, strong and hilarious as usual in their pinstripes.

The vocals of Miss Frisky (who laughed at her own golden outfit - "I'm dressed as a Quality Street!") are a marvellous addition - who doesn't like a music hall rendition of B*Witched's 'C'Est La Vie' on a Friday night?

The acrobatics of Yammel Rodriguez, Michelle Chy and Bret Pfister, staged in the centre of this glamorous big top, seemed even more death-defying than they usually would; the comedy stylings of Asher Treleaven were slightly sinister but all the more funny for that.

A true company show, the goodwill and party atmosphere emanating from a lively audience was tangible. They were brought to their feet midway through the second half by Denis Lock's amazing new bubble act - with suit and hat staying firmly on, he had the crowd enthralled and entranced, and to be honest whenever I think about it I'm almost moved to tears by the sheer beauty of the craft - and the showmanship.

La Soiree have, quite frankly, brought their particular brand of genius back to London, and you'd be a fool to miss out. Go.

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