Celebrating ten years of the Underbelly Festival on the Southbank was a rather wet affair last Thursday evening.
And not because it was raining, the London summer evening was delightfully warm and welcoming. The crowds on the Southbank were enthusiastic, energised, eager to participate, and as always, the Underbelly put on a stellar show paired with an excellent selection of food and beverages. Pimms on tap, summer fruits cider, and festival junk food – yes please!
But, back to the entertainment. There had to be a suitable show to crown the night, and it was none other than the opening of the aptly named “SOAP”, a bathtub circus extravaganza. Yes, bathtubs and circus.
Yet, the experience we were drawn into represented more of a scintillating soap opera than your average morning ablution routine (though I can only speak for myself!)
There were the expected rubber duckies, cleverly placed bath towels, alongside talented contortists and aerial performances – the kind that make you hold your breathe and forget to blink. Comedy was covered by a clever strip tease involving juggling a disturbing amount of balls (make of that what you will), a hilariously articulate opera singer and three naked men in bath towels. But my personal favourite had to be the very, very, very wet and delightfully masculine performance to Tool’s “Schism” (yes, I grew up in the 2000’s, so I’m allowed to be excited by that cocktail).
But I’ll say no more, other than to point out a show concept that has survived on the scene for ten years is a show worth seeing in it’s current evolution. It seems we’re all lured in by the intimacy of a bath tub, a bit of soap, and a collection of beautiful human beings.
The Underbelly Festival is in residence on the Southbank all summer, through till September 30th, the best place in London for great summer nights and affordable, world class entertainment.
Soap the Show is on at the Underbelly until Jun 30th, tickets here
Images copyright to @mokocreative