By Tom Eckert
Previous festival winner SOAP returns to Gluttony’s The Peacock and had no trouble selling tickets managing to sell out their very first show of the season. Whether this is because their reputation precedes them or the ubiquitous appeal of the promise of acrobatics, and the promise of a watery novelty remains to be seen.
With the unique skills demonstrated by a diverse ensemble in individual spots as well as some punchy group pieces SOAP is eminently entertaining as good a way to achieve an evenings diversion as anything.
The acrobatics, strength and contortions of the performers are wonders to be seen.
The thing is that, super-human as they are, during this month acrobatics are $20 a seat. And so whilst exceptionally entertaining there is something missing in the soul of this show.
Here we find acrobatics presented for the sake of acrobatics, taking our breath away and leaving us on the edge of our seat only to leave us unfulfilled as they move into the next act. With phenomenally talented acrobats everywhere it is no longer enough to present acrobatics as an end in and of itself. Instead to create good effect and really engage an audience acrobatics must be used as a means to a higher purpose, to present narrative or hint at the more sublime elements of human nature. The ironic thing is that the set is primed for greater effect having the capacity for pathetic fallacy that was only used briefly for a pair of acts as well as a group of clearly very capable performers.
Kudos must go to the clown figure who really made an earnest effort to engage the audience and present a character, creating a personal narrative which managed to engage the audience with wit and comic timing.
More fixated on performing the acts that performing for the audience and seemingly troubled with lackluster chemistry and vanilla sensuality. Lacking a bit of heart, SOAP is nevertheless a good evenings entertainment for marveling at what those of us stronger and more flexible than ourselves can do.