Adelaide Fringe Festival Review: Scotch & Soda – The Panama Club, Royal Croquet Club (20.02.16)

Scotch & Soda easily became one of my Adelaide Fringe highlights, a declaration I made within minutes of leaving The Panama Club and emerging out into the bright lights of this year’s Royal Croquet Club set up. A sold out show indicated that the Adelaide crowds were either returning to Scotch & Soda following a wildly successful season in 2015, or were coming to the show for the first time (as I was) with high expectations. Either way, all expectations were smashed.

What unfolded on the stage before us on Saturday night was a great fusion of circus and jazz music – the cast all incredibly talented individuals who, when coming together for group choreography, shine even more brightly. For every brass or percussion breakdown, there was an equally as impressive show of aerial work or acrobatics. The comedy was always a strong feature of Scotch & Soda, but never drowned out the physical talent that had the crowd gasping or simply staring on, jaws dropping.

Echoing carnivals of eras gone by, David Carberry and Chelsea McGuffin‘s Company 2 really established an environment that mixed hints of the old with splashes of the contemporary in producing a show that was enticing for all ages.

As soon as you enter the tent, there are already performers on stage in character – it’s like you’re entering someone’s house or a bar with patrons already well into their night. From there, the cast introduce themselves via a range of balancing and acrobatic displays while endearing themselves to the immediate first few rows of audience members, but by the end of the night, you feel like they’ve reached the back of the tent and the crowd itself.

Scotch & Soda has everything Fringe Festival-goers love about this more theatric and visually intriguing side of the festival. You can instantly appreciate the level of passion and work that has gone into crafting the display you see before you and from the onset, it’s clear that this isn’t just a sidepiece for any other professional circus/performance project the cast members may be involved in. Scotch & Soda is slick, hilarious and brilliantly executed – you’re missing out if you’re not seeing this show during it’s 2016 season.

Scotch & Soda runs at the Royal Croquet Club until February 28th. Grab your tickets and more event information here!

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