Ginger Hibiscus | Ginger Hibiscus | Scotch and Soda at London Wonderground
Ginger Hibiscus | Scotch and Soda at London Wonderground
Ginger Hibiscus | Scotch and Soda at London Wonderground
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10 Jun REVIEW: Scotch and Soda at London Wonderground

The summer has started, which can only mean one thing: festival time on the south bank, and more specifically, circus time at London Wonderground. Headlining the Spiegeltent with Scotch and Soda are Company 2, the team behind last year’s hit Limbo, returning to the capital with another death-defying show bursting with quirky humour and foot-stomping music from a motley group of clowns, acrobats and musicians.

As the name would suggest, Scotch and Soda has an irresistible party feel, chaotic and exciting and raucously fun. Not a “party” like a glamorous night out in a swish West End celebrity haunt, but more like a night spent drinking around a picnic bench with some people you only met that night, getting more than a touch carried away with the scotch and embarking on a stint of ceaseless one-upmanship that in real life would never end well. Fun, definitely, and dangerous.

A weird and wonderful show comprised of death-defying feats, the show has something of an old-fashioned charm about it – unsexy, unglamorous and absolutely bonkers. With stunning (and petrifying) aerial acrobatics from The Bush Stranger (Mozes), forget the polish of Cirque de Soleil and embrace the well and truly bizarre. Gritty and uncomfortable, despite the Australian provenance of Company 2, Scotch and Soda is definitely more of a European party, boasting a very special pair of cloggs-turned-roller skates and some rather risqué lederhosen, topped off with a touch of Aussie allure from the infinitely watchable David Carberry, a performer with the kind of swagger you can’t help but warm to, as he grins his way through the set.

The troupe of talented performers aside, despite being only a little over an hour long, the show suffers dip in energy at around the midway point, as the pace slows and the intensity drops, with some of the “clown” acts that fill in between acrobatics a little tedious and repetitive, despite the efforts of the on-stage musicians who do well to maintain engagement. Let’s face it though, not much is going to seem exciting in comparison to a man hanging upside down from only his heels, or another jumping over a group of people all piled up on a moving bicycle.

With a very, very real sense of jeopardy, Scotch and Soda is one that’ll have fingernails bitten to the quick in nervousness just that each of this fabulous bunch of misfits will go home with a head still on their shoulders. So close you can practically smell the scotch, it’s a show with a danger and playfulness about it that makes it stand apart from all the other circus offerings.

For tickets and information:
Venue: London Wonderground
Dates: 14th May – 2nd August

Star Rating

Ginger Hibiscus don’t like using stars as a headline; we think they’re too reductionist, and that decision-making based on stars misses the point of a review. Just as you wouldn’t judge a personality using a five-point scale, theatre is multi-dimensional. So have a read, and then look at the stars afterwards.
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