The Wonderland Spiegeltent Presents SCOTCH & SODA

Gorgeous and gritty circus theatrics

By Leeor Adar

The Wonderland Spiegeltent’s Scotch & Soda is a riot of mad-hatter-esque lunacy and junkyard jazz. It’s definitely more than a little something, something, and encapsulates the grassroots of carnival whilst injecting that dirty, depression-era feel.

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Elaborate costumes and performances litter the circular stage and one genius act after other flows, much like the scotch and soda. Having witnessed several other circus performances as of late, what sets Scotch & Soda apart is the style and theatrics presented to us. It’s rambunctious, wild and pretty much guaranteed to have audience members gasping and laughing at the same time.

We are presented with a diverse range of acts which twist the classics. Balancing at obscene heights on even more obscene objects, the performers often use one another with assured physicality to push the limits of their bodies and our racing hearts. Definite highlights include watching a ‘drunken’ tango of sorts between performers turn hilariously violent, and one performer dangle and contort himself precariously over a toilet with mad abandon.

There is however the occasional slip, but I expect this is the usual business of opening night. Hopefully the drum kit will not tumble off stage! Yet given the highly physical and wild quality of Scotch & Soda, there is the expected element of uncertainty.

Setting the night further alight is the incorporation of the Uncanny Carnival Band, which features some of Sydney’s best jazz musicians. The band were evidently enjoying themselves as part of the night’s theatrics, and at one point we were treated to a sax solo whilst a performer spun the musician in circular motions, only adding to the absurd wonder of it all. Scotch & Soda certainly gave every band member a chance to shine, whether it was a drum or sax solo, and a hilarious incorporation of the cellist who at one point walked down the aisle with his curvaceous instrument.

Scotch & Soda is not your average fun night out, but I guarantee you will enjoy every minute of it as you are lured into a world of carnival and mayhem.

Scotch and Soda is performing most nights at 8pm until the 23 October at the Wonderland Spiegeltent (Docklands), you can purchase tickets here: