Scotch and Soda Review London Wonderground
I can’t get enough of the London Wonderground, I really can’t. The venue is as close to the bubbling creative vibe of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival that London will ever get and on a sunny day, with a Pimms in hand, it literally is the best place theatrical to be in the city. Such were the glorious conditions when I headed off to Wonderground’s Spiegeltent to catch Scotch and Soda, a new circus style extravaganza with a distinctive steam-punk stroke hobo vibe set in the outback. Sounds crazy right? It kind of was!
The aesthetic of the piece extended to my favourite part of the show; The Crusty Suitcase Band, who provided a whimsical backdrop of atmospheric music on knocked together instruments. The energy and effervescence of this troupe of musicians was so strong that I often found myself preferring to watch them jam rather than what was happening on stage. The strongest moments of the show for me seemed to be when the band and performers came together as a cohesive whole, such as during David Carberry and Chelsea McGuffin’s impressive bike trick which swirled around the musicians who seemed to egg them on with sound.
It is clear from the show that it is not without its risks, and to be fair, who wants to see a circus without an element of danger. At many times throughout Scotch and Soda I found myself holding my breath as I watched McGuffin walk on Champagne bottles, David suspend himself from a high perch, performers mounting skyscrapers made from boxes and swinging themselves around poles. Thankfully everything seemed to go as planned on the evening, save from a low risk bird act that didn’t quite seem to take flight.
There is a lot of skill oozing from Company 2, who have created the show in collaboration with the Wonderground. However skill is one thing, for me what makes a circus style performance truly enjoyable is sense of playfulness and fun it radiates which Scotcha and Soda displayed from start to finish. With whoops, cheers, some champagne swilling and the odd penis flash (yeah, I said it, yeeeehaaa!) this show is cheeky, jolly and daring. After the performance had finished, I really did feel like I had been stolen away into the Ozzie Outback, been slipped something potent, shed my inhibitions and had a rip roaring knees up. So, thanks for that Soctch and Soda!
Whilst I would like to see more females in this male dominated cast, whilst I think that there could be more unity with the band and performers, these are things that can be improved and built on. At its core, Scotch and Soda is energetic, frisky and daring and absolutely worth giving yourself over to for 80 minutes of fun.
Scotch and Soda runs at the (LOVELY) London Wonderground until 2nd August 2015.
Watch our Interview with Chelsea McGuffin plus clips from the show below!