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Review: SOHO: Circus, Street Dance and Theatre, at Peacock Theatre

Madame Jojo’s, The Colony Room and Chinatown feature in show that embraces colourful area’s diversity

19 May, 2017 — By Alina Polianskaya

The cast of SOHO. Photo: Stufish

IT is almost surprising that it has taken so long for Soho to get its own show. An area so vibrant and full of colourful characters lends itself perfectly to the stage – and this cast of young, talented performers takes the idea and runs with it, bringing a creative blend of circus and dance to the Peacock Theatre.

Familiar scenes from Soho past and present flash on screen – Madame Jojo’s, The Colony Room, Soho Square, Chinatown – all filled with the usual personas. The drag queen, the chefs in the kitchens, the night-time revellers and girls in tutus out on a hen do all get their moment.

But is it perhaps a little dated? The show celebrates what Soho was, but pays little notice to how it is changing, rapidly. Only one scene acknowledges this, as a construction worker dressed in hi-vis emblazoned with the word Crossrail, strolls onto the set with a clipboard, to the dismay of all the others. It is a hint of narrative and social commentary, in a show that is otherwise embracing a fantastical, almost dreamlike version of Soho.

Photo: Stufish

What the story is lacking is made up for by throughly exciting and innovative choreography, impeccably performed.

A scene where two trapeze artists rise up, performing stunts, is so hypnotic, that you barely notice the backdrop of Soho Square change from summer to winter. Also memorable is the gymnast who takes on the role of a mannequin.

Practically indistinguishable from her plastic counterpart, as she is carried around the stage and passed between the others, you almost question if she is actually real – until she springs into action.

All in all, it is a show that embraces and celebrates an area’s diversity and does so in a thoroughly enjoyable way.

Until May 20
020 7863 8222

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