Scotch and Soda: a magical, musical Circus Cabaret comes to town at Edinburgh’s Christmas


A madcap troupe of Australian musicians and acrobats has arrived in Edinburgh to offer a distinctly different style of entertainment at the Paradiso Spiegeltent, St. Andrew’s Square. Company 2 from Brisbane is a multi-talented bunch of performers who specialise in what they call New Circus .. evolving the form.”

No Nelly the Elephant or red nosed clowns here although there are classic trapeze acts, “wildlife,” and comic turns along the way. The classic Big Top is the perfect venue with ringside seats for the best close up view of the action.

The ensemble of 19th century-styled Strolling Players wander on to the stage, or perhaps stagger, with a couple of guys swilling from a whisky bottle. Dressed in a strange assortment of ragged trousers held up with string, khaki shorts and vests, they look like a cross between boy scouts and Mid Western hobos.

All very theatrical but like a typical circus, there’s no spoken dialogue – music is the lyrical language of the show. The Crusty Suitcase Band, led by composer Ben Walsh, play an eclectic live score blending cool jazz, gypsy, hip hop and bluesy beat on woodwind brass, double bass, percussion and  inventive) calypso drumming.

The Crusty Suitcase Band

The Crusty Suitcase Band

We are treated to a succession of amazing circus tricks with extraordinary agility. Moses with his wild beard and wide eyed expressions, is a true showman, “a magnificent man on the flying trapeze.” With no safety net, he is then joined by Chelsea McGuffin who throws herself around, swinging, somersaulting with gay abandon like a rag doll.

Some of the fast moves are jaw droppingly scary, with the audience oohing and ahhing,  half watching, hands over eyes, terrified of a catastrophic head-first fall to the stage.

All the fun of the circus

All the fun of the circus

David Carberry and Daniel Catlow are masters of the art of balance using an array of suitcases, bottles, boxes and also a bicycle … all part of this crazy Cabaret of music, magic and daring feats of physical theatre.

Balancing on Champagne Bottles - don't try this at home!

Balancing on Champagne Bottles – don’t try this at home!

Household pets are included in this performance but not harmed in any way.

Rather like Crabbie’s Alcoholic Ginger Beer for grownups, Scotch and Soda is a fizzing, sparkling punch of a show (with an amusing scene of full frontal nudity), offers alternative Pantomime Festive fun for teenagers and adults.

Scotch and Soda, presented by Underbelly Productions with Company 2 is a UK premiere

Show times – 21st November to 21 December, 2014.

Check out the booking details on Scotch and Soda, Christmas Party nights with dinner, Booth Seats for 10;  Paradiso Spiegeltent family shows and full programme of Festive entertainment and events across Edinburgh.

Paradiso Spiegeltent shows for children include Stickman, Baby Disco and the Brat Kids Carnival.

Hot Ticket News! EH Postcode Discount: If you live locally with an EH postcode, 20% discount on ticket prices.

About vivdevlin

I am an international travel writer, specialising in luxury travel, hotels, restaurants, city guides, cruises, islands, train and literary-inspired journeys. I review dance and theatre, Arts Festivals and love the visual arts. I have just experienced an epic voyage, circumnavigating the globe, following in the wake of Captain Cook, Mark Twain and Robert Louis Stevenson.

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