Photos – Prudence Upton
La Soiree is edgy, burlesque style cabaret. It began life as the even edgier La Clique, the house cabaret of the Famous Spiegletent. But in 2010, La Clique left home and has been travelling the international festival circuit, finding lodgings in a range of venues, most recently fetching up at the Roundhouse Theatre in London, (co-incidentally the venue where The Doors made their only UK appearance in 1968.)
Since then this eclectic family of sexy, provocative, consummate performers have been at home in the SOH Studio. Or have they? Where once La Clique truly inhabited the Spiegletent, in a dark, dirty, sultry, slutty, risky kind of way, La Soiree (name changed due to contractual disputes with the afore mentioned Spiegletent) merely seems to be working out of the Opera House. It’s a subtle thing, but one that finely tuned punters will notice. The full house on Friday night that clapped and cheered, didn’t know or care particularly, as they whistled and whooped their way through the show with little encouragement – more like a hen’s night crowd on dex, illustrating amply that La Clique has successfully crossed over into more commercial territory. The show is casual with the MC encouraging all to keep visiting the bar, whenever they liked, and they did.
Many of the acts remain the same: Captain Frodo, the delightful Norwegian contortionist whose masterful comic timing and stomach wrenching ability to dislocate his joints; the beautiful and risqué Ursula Martinez who makes a small red hankie disappear in the most captivating striptease routine you are likely to witness, bath boy David O’Mer with his wet ballet routine that soaks the first row of audience (they are given plastic sheeting), and the English Gents – amazing gymnasts who strip down to raucous approval displaying bodies of steel – are all part of the up to 25 acts which rotate in and out of the show.
Le Gateau Chocolat, with his deep baritone and penchant for lycra, and Mooky Cornish, (Bette Midler channelling Elizabeth Taylor in a zany physical comedy sketch involving an unsuspecting audience member, forced into a romantic recitation and duet with Mooky,) were refreshing inclusions, though not new to the cast in any sense.
Overall the sense of joie de vivre of the show is irrepressible. It’s still a great night out, though a little longer and a few more acts would keep the show fresh. It’s just starting to feel a little jaded.
Sydney Opera House presents
Venue: Studio | Sydney Opera House
Dates: 6 January - 26 February
Tickets: Posh $110, Ringside $75, Mezzanine $65
Bookings: 02 9250 7777