More towels please: Soap @UnderbellyFest
Circus acts as part of the Underbelly Festival on the Southbank are always a highlight of the programme. Adding bathtubs, water and a hint of nudity is definitely a winning formula. And it makes for good clean fun (this show is aimed at all ages).
Soap which originated in Germany has been touring around the world. But for the first time it’s in the round in the Spiegeltent. The effect pushes you right up close to the action. So close that you can see the muscles tense and flex on the performers.
The cast run through a variety of bath-time themed circus feats. There’s Vanessa Alvarez as a foot juggler of bath towels and guitars. Anton Belyakov thrills with handstand on what appears to be a very slippery Villeroy and Boch bathtub. Lena Ries contorts within one. Adem Endris juggles on top of one. Daniel Stern rises above one on straps. And Moritz Haase wows with a thrilling Trapeze finale as water rains down from above.
Marie-Andrée Lemaire is on hand for comic relief. And Jennifer Lindshield provides operatic interpretations of bathtub songs for good measure.
It’s a slick presentation, beautifully lit with a pulsing soundtrack that keeps things moving.
Of course placing the audience so close to such a water-themed show has its consequences. Sitting in the first few rows you can expect with acrobats dripping and splashing about to get a little damp. So bring your raincoat and enjoy the show.
Directed by Markus Pabst and Maximilian Rambaek, Soap is at the Underbelly Festival on the Southbank until 16 June.
Photos by Richard Lakos