Scotch and Soda, The Paradiso Speigletent, Review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Underbelly Productions and Company 2
David Carberry(bike, teeterboard), Daniel Catlow(handstands, bike, teeterboard), Chelsea McGuffin (bottle balancing, double trapeze), Mozes (trapeze, skates), Simon Mitchell (rigger)

The Crusty Suitcase Band - Ben Walsh (composer & drums), Justin Fermino(saxophone), Lucian McGuiness (trombone , tuba), Eden Ottignon (double bass, clariney), Matthew Ottignon(saxophone)
Running time

The circus used to come to town with a fanfared parade. These assorted Aussie acrobats and players looks as though they’ve arrived on a handcart. But their air of insouciance completely belies their consummate skills.

Set in an indeterminate time, this 10 strong band of players and acrobats take turns to hang around the wooden table on stage gambling, drinking and passing the time as the seats fill. Old style circus bands were stuck in a box, with the white faced clown occasionally playing a solo trumpet. This handsome band of players that is the Crusty Suitcase Band gets right in among the action. They play a fusion of styles - Latin, jazz, Middle eastern and hurdy- gurdy - evoking the anarchy of the fairground as they strut, toot and bash the mobile drum kit around the Spiegeltent’s circular stage .

Crates and cases with miscellany from another era take the place of shiny boxes and sparkly hoops. Vest and pants, ‘Dave Angel’ pork pie hats and camel trousers take the place of sequined suits. They may be glitter free but all the traditional circus skills are alive and extremely well in the hands of this motley troupe. Their unpretentious style and cool relaxed manner is an understatement of their high skills. From astonishing bottle balancing, to amazing acrobatics, barefoot trapeze, clog skating (yes!), percussion, handstands, teeterboard, balancing, and trick cycling, these guys and the one feisty gal, Chelsea McGuffin, among them display top team work and precision timing throughout.

The show is quite loud and raucous but almost speech- free other than the randomly calling ‘Margaret’ by Mozes , the closest thing to a clown in his bonkers beard, bashed top hat and what can only be described as less than secure “suederhosen”! Postie Simon Mitchell cycles round, like a tribute to Tati’s le Facteur adding another layer of quaintness.

Happiness has to be circus as that’s what emanates from the stage. The show may not be for younger children because of the brief bit of nudity but it is worth keeping the awe of your inner child intact as you watch this meld of the old and new that’s full of its own brand of shabby glamour.

The name Scotch and Soda is a great metaphor for this highball mix of a show with a cast from Cantina, La Clique, Circa and Tom Tom Crew that arrives in Edinburgh direct from sell out runs at the Sydney and Brisbane Festivals. This part of Edinburgh's Christmas is a new tradition under the circus drapes of the fabulous Spiegeltent. Grab a warming hot apple toddy at some point in the evening - a fine wee bonus to this gasp inducing show.

Age guidance: 12+
A Private Booth - £176.50 for up to 10 people
Posh Seats - £41.00 Rows 1 to 3 - the best seats in the house!
Stalls Seats - £31.00 General admission seating in rows 4 and up
Booth Seats - £20.50 share the booth with up to 9 others
Full frontal nudity is included in this performance. Household pets are included in this performance. They are not harmed in any way.