This is not my first dalliance with La Soiree. Oh no, I am in fact a repeat offender, completely smitten with this cabaret's ability to celebrate the decadent, the divine and the downright scandalous. For 11 years now La Soriee has travelled the globe after springing to life back in 2004 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Back in London over the perfectly illuminated Christmas period, La Soiree is revelling in the encounter - it's sixth rendezvous with the city. La Soiree unfolds in the Spiegeltent, which, as the name implies, is a delicious Belle Epoque glass affair, complete with wooden floors, two bars (drinking throughout the show is wholeheartedly encouraged although it may just get you roped into an act, so watch your step) and a big top inspired roof - and naturally is surrounded by food stalls, so a Thames-side, pre-show burger is very much on the menu.
The acts steal your hearts, cause your cheeks to hurt from smiling and show that sometimes it pays be to a little forward. You will giggle, exclaim, sing, dance, aid a crowd-surfing 'Queen of the Circus' and when it comes to Captain Frodo look away in fear - I've never been particularly good with dislocations; he's right, it hurts us a lot more than it hurts him!
There is Mario, Queen of the Circus, brought to life by the juggling Clarke McFarlane, a Latin-accented bon vivant with an undying passion for Queen. This is a man who does not do understated and knows how to bedazzle a leather jacket. The delightful, Canadian born Mooky Cornish, who is all heart - and an orange belt Tae Kwon Do whizz - and the extraordinarily powerful Yammel Rodriguez, who flies through the air, all the while enjoying her true passion; a fine Cuban cigar. Australian Asher Treleaven reads Mills & Boon better than anyone in the history of ever and shows that diablo is more of a baby maker than children's toy. There is Miss Frisky with a voice and repertoire that will lift your spirits and The English Gents, who pull off spectacularly muscled feats (gravity, what gravity), before demonstrating their own unique talents - for Denis Lock it's the intimate world of bubbles and Hamish McCann it's about giving 'Singing in the Rain' a whole new meaning. Melanie Chy is straight out of Vegas and the embodiment of cool while Canadian Bret Pfister dances above your head because, well, aerial ballet really is the most spectacular thing around.
If you enjoy a thrill and a laugh and seeing the greatest show on earth completely reimagined, La Soiree is the show to warm your winter evening. Prepare to feel the magic and run away to the circus.