For the last night of the 2017 Fringe season, the last few people flocked to The Peacock in Gluttony to witness the highly acclaimed, acrobatic musical, known as SOAP. A highlight of Adelaide Fringe 2015, this enthralling display of physical theatre blew us away with their riveting range of routines, consisting elements of music, song, cabaret, comedy and circus. Bathtubs and a shimmering aqua backdrop set the scene on stage, with lights blacking out and turning on again to reveal the feature performers, appearing to Gnarls Barkley’s ‘Crazy’. An immediate energy was established from the first introduction, wowing us with a vigorous workmanship that was equal among all gymnasts.
As the performance unfolded, distinct routines backed by matching music created an emotive story by each performer. Sia‘s ‘Breathe Me’ was suited to a passionate show of beautiful dance and gymnastics, and it was easy to feel moved. But then SOAP managed to change the vibe and lift us up again with a touch of humour thrown into the mix. The host of the show brought us along this soapy journey with her characterised geeky persona that won the crowd over, picking a random (or not so random) audience member from the crowd and embarrassing him more than once in front of a room full of overly enthusiastic strangers.
Lighting was suited perfectly to every sequence to reach a dynamic, desired affect, and as I sat there speechless and stunned, I became immersed into every moment of the spectacle laid out before me. As one gymnast climbed atop the edges of the bathtub, standing tall and soaked by water, it was a nerve-racking experience imagining what would happen if his foot just… slipped. But alas, I was able to breathe again after he pulled it off, and I wondered why I ever doubted him. His sculpted physique literally revealed every muscle beneath his skin as he majestically lifted his own body weight to Tool’s ‘Schism’. The song choice is another thing, and perhaps what makes this part of the show such a memorable stand-out. For anyone who loves metal, they will not be disappointed by Schism blaring to this powerful act, and as the notable rhythm of the song increased, the lighting grew fierce and the water no longer looked like a trickle.
From fast-paced juggling, a jaw-dropping contortionist act, and a gripping water-fueled gymnastic performance, it’s obvious why SOAP has stolen the hearts of over 1.5 million audiences around the world. Not to mention, the soundtrack was on point.
We rate: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars
Image: Adelaide Fringe