Monday 11 December 2017

La Petite Soirée - The Most Amazing Family Show

La Petite Soirée was everything I hoped it would be and more. This extraordinary cabaret show deserves every award and glowing review it has ever received.

Upon arriving at the beautifully refurbished Aldwych theatre in central London my family's expectations were a mixed bag. I'd done some research so I sort of knew what we were heading in to see but my family had no real idea apart from the little I'd told them and you really can't do it justice until you've seen the spectacular for yourself. The girls were up for the ‘posh circus’ as they'd named it and I could see that my husband and 14 year old son were reserving judgement.

We headed in to collect our tickets, not knowing what the PR agency had booked for us and were pleased to find we had ringside seats. These are general admission seats so we were given a wristband and able to take a seat wherever we fancied within the ringside area. Our arrival at 2.40pm (20 minutes before the show started) gave us a good pick of the seats but the closest we could get was 4 rows from the front. I'd imagine you’d need to be at the theatre about another 20 minutes earlier to get front row seats but of course you also need to be prepared to join in and be a good sport if you sit in the front row!

La Petite Soiree, the most amazing and unusual family cabaret show
Image Credit: Brinkhoff / Mogenburg

We had a superb view from where we sat and I think I preferred our seats to the ones they call the ‘posh seats’ which are up on the stage and have tables with them. Because the acts are on the ground and up in the air I'd imagine the circle seats would also be great and the stalls behind us would have been fine too as it's not that big a theatre.

The energy of the show feels as if it starts from the moment you walk in. These are not your average polite but reserved ushers, all the staff from La Petite Soiree have a massive smile and bags of energy to offer you. There is atmospheric music, bright lights and energy from the moment you walk in the doors. You could see all the kids getting excited with so much buzz.

As 3pm arrived the area darkened further and the compère came on to welcome us and ask us to refrain from taking photos, he reminded us this is just an hour show and we should immerse ourselves in it and enjoy it first hand rather than capturing it on camera.

I did worry at first that my central view of the acts might be obscured a bit as there was a large wooden totem pole centre stage to start with but this was just for the second act to use and then it was moved away, leaving me free to see everything perfectly.

In all there were seven different performers or duos but a few of them came on multiple times to do different things. I really don't want to say too much, as if you are going to visit it is the suspense and wonder that add that extra dimension to this show.

I will say that La Petite Soiree is totally unique. You're watching it and someone comes on stage with a hoop and you assume you've seen this kind of act before but then it's totally different to anything you've ever seen. It's not traditional hoop swinging, it's the art of illusion with hoops and it is so, so clever.

La Petite Soiree, the most amazing and unusual family cabaret show
Image Credit: Brinkhoff / Mogenburg

Where else do you get to see Amy G, who is a singing, tap dancing, roller skating comedian? There is so much skill to make these acts look as if they are mad-cap when actually they are perfectly choreographed and interactive with the audience.

I asked all the family what their favourite act was from the show and they said -
Miss M - LJ Marles with his tension strap act. As a budding gymnast herself she was in awe of his strength and skill as he spun and climbed
My Husband - Was amazed by the strength and ease with which Mallakhamb India performed. This acrobat duo were completely in tune and a delight to watch (well with your heart in your throat as they made it look as if they would fall!)
JJ - My 14 year old is mostly unimpressed with anything at the theatre and he told me afterwards he expected the whole show to be lame. So it was a great surprise to hear him laughing loudly throughout the show and when I asked what his favourite part was he couldn't pin it down and told me he loved it all mostly (high praise indeed from a teenage boy)
Miss E - Miss E knew straight away that Daredevil Chicken where her favourite act. In fact they were the act that made every one of us laugh out loud so much. As well as shout 'oh no' and 'ewww' as we squirmed with some of the content of their act. It is really, really clever and you just have to go and see it.  Miss E described it as "weird and disgusting but so, so funny"
Myself - I'm not sure I had a favourite act, as there was so much variety and I loved it all. The Puppetry of Cabaret Decadanse was amazing, Amy G's roller-skate act is fantastic, Mallakhamb India are awe inspiring and Daredevil Chicken are an act that need to be seen to be believed. It was all amazing.

Useful Information

  • The show is recommended for children aged 8 upwards, although we saw quite a number younger than that
  • The show is definitely still a PG, as whilst most of the sauce has been cut out, you still get quite a few glimpses of knickers and a few risque elements. This isn't a show for prudes but there was nothing that concerned me for my 10 year olds
  • The show starts prompt at 3pm for an hour
  • There isn't an interval
  • You can buy drinks, snacks and ice-creams for during the performance
  • If you sit in the posh seats waiters will come and serve you at your table
  • There is lots of bright lights, a generally dimly lit room and some stage smoke if any of those things are a concern to your child
  • Children 15 and under are £15 per ticket and must be accompanied by a paying adult. Adult seats start from £15, through to £49.50. You can book a family ticket, for 4 seats ringside/ in the stalls for £99.
  • If you wish to book go to the theatre website 
  • Both La Petite Soiree and La Soiree close on 3rd February 2018 at the Aldwych theatre
La Petite Soiree, the most amazing and unusual family cabaret show
Image Credit: La Soiree
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La Petite Soiree, the most amazing and unusual family cabaret show

Disclosure: We received tickets for our family to see La Petite Soiree free of charge. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

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