(photo credit: Courtesy)
On Tuesday night I had the privilege of attending the opening night of Berlin-based company Circle of Eleven’s Soap at Tel Aviv’s Performing Arts Center.
To say that bathtime will never be the same is sort of an understatement.
Devised by Markus Pabst and Maximilian Rambaek, Soap is a fusion of musical theater, circus, cabaret and comedy all set within the original confines of a bathroom.
There’s a mop ballet, contortion, juggling, an opera or two and even a love story between two feet. The show is daring and, from an onlooker’s perspective, dangerous.
Six bathtubs are positioned on stage. The action is watched over and punctuated by songs (ranging from Mozart’s “The Magic Splash” all the way to the Beatles’ “All You Need is Splash”) from a camp, sexy opera singer, who surveys the activity from her bathtub at the top of the stage.
Performed to a soundtrack that includes the music of Nina Simone, The Doors, Tool, Gnarls Barkley and Curtis Mayfield, standout acts involved foot juggler Ludmila Nikolaeva, from Russia – definitely a crowd favorite with her circus performance – as well as handstand acrobat Anton Belyakov with his captivating and sensual gymnastic movements while balancing on a bath ledge.
Other highlights included an amusing stripping act while juggling performed by former Circus Ethiopia and Afrika! Afrika! juggler Adem Endris. Contortionist and aerial artist Lena Ries bended and twisted her body into unimaginable positions all while standing in a bathtub.
All of the acts were nicely threaded together by the kooky clown character Marie, played by Ximena Ameri. Her humor was warm, gentle and infectious.
By the time the show concludes and characters take their final bows in front of a red curtain, the audience has been won over. Not only was the show a success, the skill of each and every participant was remarkable. I suggest you splash out and pay these artists a visit.Soap runs today through Saturday. For more info visit www.israel-opera.co.il