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La Soiree

Since doing their first show at Edinburgh Fringe in 2004, La Soiree has now become one of the most successful circus groups in the UK.  To celebrate the company’s 10th birthday, La Soiree is bringing their circus-burlesque show to the stunning mirrored Spiegeltent space within the South Bank Centre.  You can expect such bizarre and original displays as ping pong trapeze and English Gents in bowler hats providing hilarious commentaries on performers and audience members.  Don’t sit near the front if you’re shy!

This is definitely a grown-up’s theatre.  The burlesque is very risqué and the jokes and downright dirty – certainly not for the easily offended, but brilliantly different and refreshing if your sense of humour is a little more daring.

One of our highlights was from Marcus Monroe, an American blade-thrower and stand up comedian, who had us in stitches (not literally) as he threw some frankly terrifying knives and swords around the stage…you know, as you do.

Where: Spiegeltent at the South Bank

When: Until Sun Jan 11 2015

Price: starting at £15 – buy your tickets here.

Cirque Berserk: Mechanika

Martin ‘Zippo’ Burton’s brand new circus production sees a Christmas Wonderland theme with a dark, post-apocalyptic style, that sees actors and acrobats dressed as eerie robots from the future.

At one point, an absolute classic of a circus display is brought out – The Globe of Death!  Four motorcycles are ridden by stuntmen around the inside of an enormous wire mesh globe, and you can see them driving the audience to the edge of their seats – on full throttle and with no holding back.  It’s something you don’t get to see in indoor venues & theatres often, and be warned, earplugs are a good idea if you have sensitive hearing.

The contortionists are also very impressive (firing a bow and arrow by hand is difficult enough, but doing it with your feet?! Madness!), and overall, this is a family-friendly show with plenty of variety to please all tastes.

Where: Hyde Park

When: Until Sun Jan 4 2015

Price: starting at £11 – buy your tickets here.

Timber!

This wonderful, hilarious and totally unique show is currently making its UK debut at The Southbank Centre.  If you’re looking for something completely out of the ordinary, this show is a must-see for winter 2014.

The plot follows some lumberjacks in the woodlands and forests of Quebec, who are still using traditional methods for gathering their wood and going about their work.  The three-generation family have such glorious on-stage chemistry because they are in fact related in real life, and it’s clear that the food fight scene that opens the show has been well-rehearsed for many, many years, much to the hilarious boredom of the mother future in the group.  Having said that, we’re not sure any members of our families could slice jacket potatoes in mid air with a sword, or juggle axes at lightning speed over several other people’s unprotected heads while casually eating a red apple.

As the show goes on, you’ll also see incredible balancing/tightrope acts involving enormous logs, hear a soundtrack of beautiful and lively French folk music, and see death-defying displays of near impossible bravery and accuracy.  It may be a little pricier than your average London circus – but golly, it’s worth it.

When: Sun Dec 21 – Wed Dec 31

Where: Queen Elizabeth Hall

Price: starting at £20 – buy your tickets here.

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