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Soap was an outstanding performance. An eclectic combination of contemporary dance, circus, acrobatics, cabaret and comedy, there was something for everyone to enjoy. Directed by Markus Pabst and Maximilian Rambaek, Soap delivers breathtaking entertainment. The cast, consisting of Adam Endris, Liudmila Nikolaeva, Lena Kies, Daniel Leo Stern, Mario Espanol, Moritz Haese, Jennifer Lindshield and Nicole Ratjen performed at the highest level.

The set consisted of 6 bathtubs set up at various levels on the stage, surrounded by plumbing pipe and in front of an arch filled with a glittering curtain.  Each performance occurred within or around one of these bathtubs. The main aspects of the performance were actually not comedic, and were more likely to encourage gasps of wonder than laughter. They were beautiful expressions of strength and grace in the form of contemporary dance (solo and group) using the bathtubs as a major prop, and also circus arts such as risley, aerial straps, aerial hoop, contortion and trapeze.

The main comedic elements were frequent short interludes between the other performances, designed to distract the audience from set changes such as aerial equipment being set up. These included performances such as nude ballet with strategically placed towels, a juggling striptease, operatic variations of songs throughout history rewritten to focus on bathing, an amusing optical illusion and an epic love story between a pair of feet, all of which kept the audience laughing and entertained.

The bathtub connection increased about half way through the show, when rain began to fall during one of the aerial performances. The flowing water added another level visually, and must have increased the difficulty level.  I’m sure a lot of testing and trials occurred to work out the safety issues of performing acrobatic acts and feats of strength, while the surfaces were covered in water (and no safety lines were used for any of the aerial acts). The remainder of the show featured the water either falling from the sky or gathered in the bathtubs, for a truly unique performance.

Surprisingly enough, the audience did not have to worry too much about getting wet (although the very front row did get a little splashed during the closing number).

Overall, Soap was a thrilling, sexy performance, with some light-hearted interludes to fulfil the relevance for the comedy festival. Could have happily watched another hour, and I heartily recommend adding this to your must-see list for MICF 2017.

 

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