Left – David O'Mer (Bath Boy). Photo – Simon-Pierre Gingras
Of the hundreds of shows in The Perth Fringe Festival of 2015, La Soiree is undoubtedly the headline act. It runs for the entire duration of the festival, every day (except Mondays) and twice a day on the weekends. It is the only show that has its own designated venue, the Palais des Glaces, taking pride of place near the entrance to The Pleasure Garden.
The performing artists are some of the best in their field worldwide, which is one of the reasons that La Soiree has achieved international acclaim.
The media release testifies that “Bath Boy (David O'Mer, from Berlin) will leave audiences damp and breathless”… Um… yes, no argument from me on that one. Be still, my beating ovaries! Honestly, you can google his aerial straps videos. Watch it and then imagine seeing it all again from just metres away. The water in the bath may be cool, but he is smoking hot!
My personal favourite was Hamish McCann, one half of “The English Gents”. His counterpart (and counter balance) was Denis Lock. Together they cycled through a display of acrobatics in suits and bowler hats with devilish charm and a stiff upper lip. I have to say though, we were all quite thrilled that they didn’t “keep themselves nice” for the duration of their routine, and roars of appreciation went up from the crowd when they stripped off and completed their tricks in Union Jack underwear so that we could witness in awe their chiselled frames, hard at work.
The thing that set McCann apart was his absolutely mind-blowing pole routine. He makes what seems impossible (walking up invisible stairs) look easy, such is his strength and flexibility.
The rest of the cast is assembled from every corner of the globe and each brings something unique and exceptional to the whole show.
I want to provide some information about seating because it does affect the ticket prices. We were seated in a booth ($65 per person and you have to book the whole booth) and while it was comfortable, there were a couple of sightline issues and we weren’t close enough to see the intimate details of the performers, or be sprayed by the fountain of aerial sensuality that is “Bath Boy”, I’ll leave it up to you to decide if that’s a good or a bad thing.
There are “Posh” seats for $79 per person which are quite close and raised above the ringside. They do receive table service, but with the show having an interval, there’s really no need to go to the bar while the show is on anyway. They also would have missed out on several great sight gags because they’re positioned behind one of the main stage areas.
There are also some $35 “Standing Room” tickets near the bar which will be perfectly fine for those on a budget. Chances are that you won’t have to stand for the 120 minute duration though, because unless it’s sold out, you can slip into a spare seat in a booth or at the back of the ringside section.
My recommendation is to order the $69 “Ringside” seats and get there early (at least 30 mins before show time) to line up. Being close will be fantastic and you will see the sinew of every rippling muscle, but you might also get wet. However, with the Perth weather putting on such delightful balmy evenings of late, that hardly matters.
Strut & Fret presents
Venue: Palais des Glaces Spiegeltent | The Pleasure Garden, James Street, Northbridge, WA
Dates: 28 January – 22 February, 2015
Tickets: $35 – $80