The night is heavy with humidity, smoky pop-up food vendors, busty vixens, flirty lashes, candy striped silliness and circus folk flitting about. It’s the opening night of La Soiree and one of the first events of Perth’s Fringe Festival 2016. If the size of the program is anything to go by at over 700 acts performing between 22nd January and 21st February, this year’s festival is going to epic.
La Soiree has graced Perth for the second year running with madcap vaudeville after being reigned “Best Cabaret” prize at the Fringe World Awards 2015, among other awards. I have no doubt there’s going to be many disappointed punters out there who didn’t book ahead.
Miss Freaky gets the saucy show off to a sassy start setting the tone with her antics and tunes for the motley crew of acrobats, contortionists, divas and abs of steel.
Bret Pfister’s balletic aerial performance and Satya Bella’s hula hooping are as exquisite to watch as Mario, Queen of the Circus, is unbridled with faux Hispanic cheekiness. With much gyrating, tight-bottom wiggling, juggling, sword swallowing, uni-cycling and lip synching, his tirade into some of Queen’s greatest hits reaches a crescendo with his crowd surfing. He sincerely thanks everyone who touched him.
Miss Mooky, aka Gloria for the night, is a comedienne extraordinaire. However a cautionary note, don’t sit too close to the stage even if you are wearing camouflage or you may need to brush up on your Shakespeare and singing skills.
The English Gents comprising of Denis Lock and Hamish McCann impressively read the paper and smoke a pipe while balancing on top of each other with a bit of planking thrown in all the while wearing a three-piece suits, bowler hats and twirling umbrellas. That is, until they strip to reveal Union Jack underwear leaving many a swooning female suddenly feeling very patriotic to our mother country; you can almost hear a collective sigh from the male folk as they suck in their tummies.
Hamish returns to suspend and twirl himself at 90 degree angles on a street lamp to Singin’ in the Rain and Nina Simone’s Feeling Good; pole dancing at its classiest even when he loses his shirt.
Incredible abs aside, my favourite act of the night is Denis Lock’s bubble art which he announces in an accent so posh even Prince Charles would be impressed, “When I’m not lifting my half-naked associate, I like to blow bubbles.” It’s a beautiful sight to behold as he injects bubbles within bubbles with the delicacy of a Venetian glass blower; the spinning carousel is pure magic.
Captain Froddo appears to be made of rubber as he dislocates his body to awkwardly squeeze himself through two tennis rackets, thankfully unstrung. The squeamish may look away as he gets himself in quite a tangled pickle giving new meaning to the term tennis elbow.
Yammel Rodriguez slinks onto the stage before suspending herself from a strap. As if her physique isn’t impressive enough she spins, contorts and swings in stilettos and a hat while smoking a cigar; sex on a string.
La Soiree is much more than a circus, its heady showmanship at its best. Don’t miss out!
La Soiree runs 22nd February – 6th March at Spiegeltent in the Museum Grounds at the Perth Cultural Centre.