La Soirée
La Soirée @ Idolize
11:00pm, Thu 15 Mar 2012
Bold, and somewhat contrary, opening statements: La Soirée is an amazing chunk of entertainment. I wish I hadn’t wasted my time in seeing it.
Because… well, I’d seen it – or most of it – before.
A Company of Strangers (amongst other shows) delivered some of Le Gateau Chocolat’s gorgeous deep tones; La Clique had shown me Captain Frodo’s tennis racquet (and bin-balancing) act, the English Gents’ amazing strength, Ursula Martinez’ hanky-hiding strip magic, and David O’Mer’s incredibly polished bathtub balance-and-strength act.
Yes, there was some new acts on show: I’d not seen Clarke McFarlane’s leather-clad Mario character before, who acted as a lecherous emcee for the evening whilst belting out Queen songs and juggling. There’s some incredibly polished hoop work from Yulia Pykhtina, and some more pole strength work. The Canadian Mooky Cornish did a fantastic bit of comedy and crowd interaction, pulling Simon (a “farmer from Bordertown” who had a bunch of friends in the crowd, and a bunch more by the end of the show) out of the audience and getting him to recite a series of notes off cards, then labels, then her body; he was also good for a bit of mime. It was an astoundingly good performance by Simon, and his pissed mates were trying to “sell” him to all the women leaving the show at the end of the night – “he’s on Farmer wants a wife next season”.
…but (apart from Simon’s cameo) it’s all so familiar.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s all pretty spectacular stuff, and I’m pretty sure I’ve typed “incredibly polished” about five times. But, in the end, I almost resented seeing this production – not only for it’s familiar content, but also because it would’ve prevented me from seeing something else. Something new.
But a more convincing reason to resent La Soirée was because of the Premium Ticket option I elected to take. Sure, the in-show drink service was nice, and not having to queue was alright… but the “premium” seats were at the back of the stage (albeit very close to it), which meant that I spent a large amount of the performance with a spotlight shining directly in my eyes. Not all performers were inclined to project their act to the the rear of the stage, either; that had its fringe benefits, though, as we were in prime position to observe Ursula Martinez’ sleight-of-hand as she whipped a “hidden” hanky from her nether regions.