I frequently visit London. It’s a great city. It’s the hub of our great history, our heritage. It’s the centerpiece to our countries international connections; people, cuisine, culture, entertainment and destinations- different countries just a short journey away. Transport connections to all aspects of the city, each area with it’s own distinct personalities, traits and iconic landmarks. You can get your hands on anything you want, day or night, no matter the location.
There is always something going on, something to do, somewhere to be, some place to discover. There has never been a time that I’ve been to London and thought there is nothing I want to see or do. This past weekend was absolutely no exception. There was so much to see and do that as always there had to be some sacrifices- mostly in the way of dining in some incredible restaurants I’ve longed to try, instead settling for on the go. I could not possibly have fit any other activity in no matter how much I wanted to.
On our first night in the great city we went to Company 2’s Scotch and Soda. A collaboration between Company 2 and the Crusty Suitcase band bringing together a jaw-dropping, old-worldly circus with live jazz band located at the London Wonderground Southbank Centre.
Upon entry into the intimate circus tent, you’re instantly transported to the 1920s. As we were seated in the round (in the posh seats none the less) we were able to soak in the atmosphere; the cast and band, already on stage, are warming up for the night’s events having a jolly and a drink in the process, the lighting low but colourful, the stage simple yet mesmerising, the audience relaxed. You can instantly tell it’s going to be a fun evening.
It’s impossible not to be vague in telling you about this show without explaining in detail, which would absolutely strip the magic from a show you must simply watch. I will do my best.
The show is a partnership between Company 2 (the acrobats and circus artists) and the Crusty Suitcase Band (the musicians). The acrobats display incredible strength, agility and diverse ability in the most humorous way possible without being silly- which is the usual perception of circus. At times though you’re often holding your breath, mesmerised at the feat of endurance the performers undertake whether it be climbing seemingly unstable items, swinging from the rafters on the trapeze and/or the corde lisse (vertical rope for those of us that are unfamiliar with acrobatics) convinced something terrible is going to happen- nothing did but certain moves were terrifying, you’ll not look away though. There is one character to watch out for though and that’s mischievous Mozes; he is the madcat of the show who has a tendency to scowl at you, taunt you and is somewhat cheeky- in the literal sense!
The Crusty Suitcase Band accompaniment was synonymous with the performers; you couldn’t possibly have one without the other. Ben Walsh, arguably the musical genius behind the group, created the unique musical composition for this show which provided both narrative and sustenance. His musical talents extend way beyond writer and composer though, whilst on stage he took his hand to a number of self created instruments- from a drumkit crafted from household goods to a violin made of tennis racket, tennis ball and strings. This doesn’t mean that any other musical performer was not pinnacle to the arrangement, each member had their shining moment, story and part to play.
If there is one thing you have to go and see this Summer, this is it- but you only have until Sunday (2nd) when the show will come to a close for the year. My boyfriend, who came to see this with me, said that this was the best thing he had seen EVER. Now I appreciate that this, to the vast majority of you, will have absolutely zero bearing as you’ll not know him. However, this is a man who stayed stone faced at Disneyland, has been to over 40 different shows, concerts and festivals and whose idea of enthusiasm is a thumbs up. He was so enthralled by the show that he went and bought a copy of the programme and the CD so he could re-live, as much as possible, the best night of his life.