January 12, 2011
Apologies in advance for sounding like an early 90s stand up routine but there's a fundamental difference between men and woman that comes out when they watch a member of the opposite sex perform some sort of striptease. Men will hoot and holler with each item of clothing removed, cheering each new bit of the performers body that is revealed. Women on the other hand seem to cheer the dance moves more than the astonishingly chiselled abdomens and bulging pectorals. "Look at the way he clings to that lamp-post using only his tensed triceps... also I can see his nipples which is nice" they seem to say.
I'll admit, that's a pretty lazy generalisation - especially considering every man in the audience at La Soiree last night was equally mesmerised by the sight of The English Gents as they performed a spectacular acrobalance routine in Union Jack underpants. But as an anthropological exercise, it's always interesting to observe your co workers while they see a performer undress and it's especially interesting to see Ben nipping down stairs the next day to do some push ups whilst humming "Land of Hope and Glory" when he thinks no one is watching.The nudity wasn't confined to man-flesh thanks to Ursula Martinez and her "Where did that handkerchief go?" show - it'd be rude to spoil the ending. Literally. Her second spot was only slightly more wholesome, morphing from vulgar Spanish lesson to a hilarious, bawdy flamenco performance in the blink of an eye.
Not everyone was naked. Double jointed 'Captain Frodo' had the modesty to bound onto the stage in nothing but a tiny pair of tennis shorts and a sweat band and then proceed to waggle and squeeze himself through two tennis rackets eliciting a curious mixture of repulsion and laughter from the audience, most of whom will probably never think of Sue Barker the same way again.
Canadian born comedienne Mooky delighted the audience with her inventive physical comedy routines earning special praise from the Sternberg Clarke employees in attendance for being the "best faller over" ever. 'Courtesan of comedy' Miss Behave had the audience alternately gasping and laughing with her mix of stomach turning oral manipulations and saucy sight gags.Then we come to David O'mer. Oh David, you may have been a treat for the ladies but you've probably been responsible for more misguided Gym Memberships in the London area than all the Christmas binging and New Years Resolutions put together. And you've ruined Bath-time for every man in there with your 'Bath Boy' routine. Showers it is then.
But the undoubted star of the show was Le Gateau Chocolat. More a force of nature than a cabaret performer; Le Gateau was at once hilarious, heart-warming, sexually threatening and life affirming and his earth shaking baritone was enough to make everyone stop what they were doing and pay attention (but importantly not make eye contact for fear of being violently thrusted at during a thunderous rendition of 'Nothing Compares 2 U') Le Gateau Chocolat perfectly encapsulated everything that was great about the entire show in one enormous, Lycra encased, glitter covered package wrapped in a feather boa.
We're all in agreement, La Soiree is well worth the trip out on a rainy Tuesday night and it's even worth the feelings of inadequacy that you're bound to experience if you're anything less than Daniel Craig in Casino Royale. Quick... say something straight. Erm... fighting, car repairs, John Wayne films.