Adelaide Fringe: SOAP

SOAP. Photo by Andy Phillipson
SOAP. Photo by Andy Phillipson

Placing SOAP into any genre (or section of The Fringe Guide) certainly won’t wash with me; it can fit into any of them, all of them! It’s a fantastic fusion of cabaret, circus, dance, music and theatre (with some comedy too). There is so much in it and it is all so good!

It kicks off with gorgeous male and female legs out of bathtubs doing great feats, as the (very out there) diva perched high above all throws out her marvellous opera voice. (“Is that her really singing that?” someone near me asked). I’m sure it was live. And wow, what a voice! And then – out of the bathtubs the legs come to life, into beautiful human beings. The bodies on the stage are amazing; and they all use their youth, fitness, physical training and utter terrific talent to the fullest advantage of all that they do for us.

The show is sexy, and it sizzles; and there is no hold back from this. And that, combined with the sheer ability upon the stage, is what is so refreshing and delicious. In some ways, it’s a celebration of the human form, what it can do and how absolutely far it can be pushed and trained to do it.

Precise and exquisitely choreographed and performed contemporary dance sequences, drum juggling and spinning wheels (on legs from bath-tubs), comical naughty ballet (by the super-hot guys) and some of the best juggling work that I’ve seen (while the juggler undressed at the same time and got up to seven balls) all sit within the perfectly put together framework of this show.

But it is the way that the outstanding acrobatics of SOAP slide so exquisitely into and out of the breathtaking dance and movement work which blows us all away, totally. The bodies before us drift from contortion into trapeze and when they use the ropes to deliver from the air it is unbelievable how far they take themselves (and us). Awesome work!

A kooky, clever clown act drifts in and out of the show, and though tight and well-drawn, I could take or leave this addition (but hey, I’m not a big clown fan at all) and yes, it was a hot night, but water squirting into the audience never sits well with me (or many others, usually). But there was a nice twist to the clowning; when an audience member is bought up on stage and we laugh along with the clown and him – but alas, to our surprise he turns out to be one of the premiere performers in this great show! Can that fella ever move and twist and slide and turn. Stunning stuff!

Humans really are astonishing and this show presents that in and out of a tub all the way through.

Though big scale and in a big Fringe venue, SOAP carries lots of the risky, a high-art flavour and a nice Fringe-ness in its enchanting arrangement. It’s a merging of so many forms and it succeeds entirely. It’s entertainment one hundred per cent. If you are not so sure of what kind of show to see this Fringe, see this one. It’s so many wrapped into one! I loved it!

Stephen House

Stephen is a writer with numerous plays, exhibitions and short films produced. He has been commissioned often and directs and performs his work. He has won two AWGIE Awards from The Australian Writers Guild and an Adelaide Fringe Award (as well as more), and has received several international literature residencies. Stephen has been Artistic Director of many events. He has been performing his acclaimed solo show, “Appalling Behaviour” nationally from 2010 – 2014 (100 shows to date). Stephen has 2 new works in development.

Stephen House

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