Thursday 20 October 2016

Scotch & Soda - Circus Review

What: Scotch & Soda
Where: Wonderland Spiegeltent
When: 12-23 October
Performed by: Company 2 and The Uncanny Carnival Band

Photo courtesy of Encore PR

Is that a sporan under your kilt or are you just pleased to see me? You are guaranteed to have some of the best fun you've had in your life finding out the answer to this question and more when you go and see Scotch & Soda at Wonderland Spiegeltent.

Scotch & Soda is a circus experience which has been created with an irresistible sense of fun and it has more shock and awe and delight than finding out who shot JR. It is an hour and a half of non-stop, rollicking silliness and virtuosity delivered with the insouciance and unpredictability of a rowdy night in a whisky bar in Louisiana during Mardi Gras.

Technically you can get up at any point to get a drink throughout the show but I confess I couldn't bare to take my eyes off the stage for long enough to take advantage of the real bar. This is a big statement because those who know me understand scotch whiskey and I have a long and loving association and it takes a lot to keep us apart. My advice is to buy a couple of drinks before the start so you don't have to get up...

I am glad I chose the show over the drink though, because I would hate to have missed even a second of what is one of the most original circus shows I have seen in a long time. Company 2 have joined forces with the Uncanny Carnival Band for this night of hypnotic bar room jazz and death defying feats of strength and daring, but to be honest they work so well and seamlessly together it is as if they have always been partners.

One of the things I truly loved about this show was exactly this synergy and the parataxis of the elements. The musicians understand the form and intrinsic intention of circus as well as the circus artists and - apart from being some of the best jazz musicians I have heard - the way the playing and the music are arranged and integrated into the performance meant I was as entranced by the double bass as I was by the aerial trapeze. Given that I spent the entire show switching between open mouthed surprise, gut wrenching laughter, and awe struck amazement this is really saying something about everyone involved.

The originality of the work was also amazing. The show was full of things I haven't seen before. It is really hard for me to pick out anything because it was all so good but if you think you know Chinese Pole you will be in for a big surprise!

Just like a drunk night with friends, the show is full of hilarious oneupmanship, intriguing adventures in the outhouse, the revelation of undergarments which should never see the light of day, and relationship dramas of the most unexpected sort! Prepare to laugh and scream and gasp and hoot along with the performers as they draw you into their night of revelry and mania.

Scotch & Soda really is some of the most fun you will have and it will remind you of why people used to run away with the circus in the good old days. I wanted to run away with this bunch by the end. Whiskey, Jazz, and non-stop feats of amazement. Who could ask for more?

5 Stars

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