Soap The Show

St James Theatre 2, Wellington

28/07/2011 - 06/08/2011

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth

10/08/2011 - 14/08/2011

Hawkes Bay Opera House, Hastings

19/08/2011 - 20/08/2011

The Civic – THE EDGE®, Auckland

23/08/2011 - 28/08/2011

Production Details

A "Stunning acrobatics and water antics abound in this refreshingly fun, exciting and sexy show…physically breathtaking" – Time Out, UK

Splash Hit SOAP The Show comes to New Zealand

Bathtime will never be the same! Splash hit Soap The Show heads to New Zealand in July and August for seasons in Wellington, New Plymouth, Hawke’s Bay and Auckland.

Direct from Berlin and fresh from a sell out season at Sydney Opera House, Soap The Show opens at Wellington’s St James Theatre on Thursday 28 July for a season until 6 August, followed by TSB Showplace, New Plymouth from 10 to 14 August, Hawke’s Bay Opera House in Hastings on 19 and 20 August, and Auckland’s The Civic, THE EDGE from 23 to 28 August.

Dazzling, daring and dangerous, eight acrobats perform in, on and around a series of bathtubs in highly-charged spectacle of new circus, comedy and cabaret.

The delicious cast of glamorous characters, including Soap’s resident diva, American opera singer Patricia Holtzmann, former Circus Ethiopia and Afrika! Afrika! juggler Adem Endris and aerial silk and Chinese pole performer Faon Shane, perform a stunning series of water-soaked acts to an eclectic soundtrack that includes the music of The Doors, Mika, Sia, Tool and Ben Harper.  

From Chinese pole and straps to trapeze and aerial silk, the show includes moments of divine beauty from a captivating hand-balancing performance on a bath ledge to a humorous love story between two feet. 

Presented by Circle of Eleven and directed by Markus Pabst (Caesar Twins, La Clique) and Maximilian Rambaek (VibeZ), Soap’s highly charged fusion of new circus, comedy and cabaret set in the confines of a bathroom provides a truly “cleansing” theatrical experience that demonstrates the beauty and strength of the human form.  

 “The craziest show sensation of the year.” – RBB Fernsehen, Berlin
“A whole lot of WOW!” – Edinburgh Spotlight

Soap The Show plays at

St James Theatre, Wellington
from 28-31 July and 4-6 August
(0800 TICKETEK,;

TSB Showplace, New Plymouth
from 10-14 August (0800 111 999,;

Hawke’s Bay Opera House, Hastings
on 19 and 20 August
(0800 224 224

The Civic, THE EDGE, Auckland
from 23-28 August
(0800 BUY TICKETS,  

Bathtub antics make a world class splash

Review by Paul Simei-Barton 26th Aug 2011

Veterans of Cirque du Soleil and other top troupes wow audience with zany brilliance 

The image of the bathroom as a sanctuary for relaxed contemplation is comprehensively shattered by the explosive vitality of a show that calls to mind the eureka moment when Archimedes leapt out of his bathtub and ran naked through the streets.

Soap – The Showuses a collection of bathtubs as a platform for a parade of supremely talented circus performers – veterans of Cirque du Soleil and other world class circus troupes. The intimate bathroom setting puts less emphasis on the elaborate spectacle of a fully fledged circus and allows the audience to focus on the expressive qualities of individual performances. [More
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Impressive but could do with an edit

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 24th Aug 2011

So much is timing. As I watch the rippling abs, foot juggling, an artist clamber up aerial silks, another ascend leather straps, then finally, a trapeze – each one twisting and tying themselves up before they plunge down on the dramatic musical cue – I have a sense of déjà vu.

The fusion of genres such as circus, acrobatics, contemporary dance and cabaret with soundtrack, dramatic lighting, set and story telling is now a regular feature in Auckland, from boutique theatres through to our largest venues. While it is, of course, an enduring art form, in terms of timing it is now also mainstream, accessible and an almost continuous fixture as an entertainment option.

Any show from this popular genre therefore needs to find its point of difference, then define and deliver it so well that it stands up against all the others on offer, as being a ‘must see’.

At times, the first half of SOAP (ironically a show overflowing with water but no soap) touches its mark and gives us moments of magic, delight or humour, which has me laughing from my guts or staring at a performer in awe.  

However, by the end of the night, half a dozen bathtubs (impressive as they are) and a talented opera singer, have not added enough unique ‘wow’ factor, to sustain my full attention for the entire show.

There’s no denying the opening night crowd is appreciative and satisfied, judging by their applause, but reflecting back on some of the weaker moments of the night, in particular during the oddly paced second half, which at times seems to lose its momentum – especially during the bizarre ‘romance of the feet’ skit and the downbeat end – some more discerning audience members might not be so generous. 

Soap’s small but skilled international troupe, each with their part to play, are loosely stitched together by the cheeky and extremely likable Canadian comedian, Marie-Andree Lemaire. With her infectious enthusiasm, goofy persona and wicked sense of timing, she keeps the pace bubbling along as much as one-woman can. After an unorthodox entrance, Lemaire extends a simple idea into a hilarious interactive routine, with a bonus sprinkle for the first few rows of the audience.

Juggler Adem Endris reveals his impressive craft during his first solo routine, and returns in the second half to up-the-ante; Michael Lamphear excels on the straps; Faon Shane brings sass and style to her aerial silk solo and Ludmila Nikolaeva milks every reward from her foot-juggling act. 

I’m thankful to be close to the stage (row D) as much of Soap’s cabaret style suits a more intimate configuration. It’s no surprise to read that one of co-director Markus Pabst’s most successful previous works is La Clique, seen in Auckland complete with the climatic ‘man-in-bath moment two years ago at the Festival’s Spiegeltent in Britomart.

Directors Pabst and Maximilian Rambaek deliver some of their best work in the opening company number, as opera diva Patricia Holtzmann adds her flamboyant twist to Gnarls Barkley’s catchy ‘Crazy’, and the ensemble revel in humorous, free bath-time physicality.

The partnership focuses on fun rather than slick choreography. Other personal highlights include the twisted long-limbed antics in the bath routine, as The Doors classic ‘People Are Strange’ plays, as well as the delightful crossover of Men in Towels to ‘The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies’.

Pace-wise, some routines are in need of an edit, especially as many seem to communicate a similar theme of ‘tortured soul’, none more so than during Alessandro di Sazio’s hand-balancing routine. Hot on the heals of Francois Gravel’s expressive performance to Ben Harper’s perfectly timed ‘Power of the Gospel’, not even di Sazio’s strong arms can sustain our full interest throughout the seemingly endless and very loud Tool soundtrack.

The recurring device of diva re-interpreting iconic composer’s works with watery lyrics (and signs to match), felt stretched well beyond its ‘best used by’ date, once we’d covered Rimsky-Korsakov, Mozart, Handel and others… By the time we got to The Beatles, I was ready for a fresh idea.

If you haven’t seen a lot of this genre, you’ll be pleased with SOAP, and I’d recommend you book seats as close to the front as you can. If you’ve seen a few similar works, you might find SOAP a bit patchy overall.  
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Matt Baker August 24th, 2011

This is a great example of what a review should be. Nice work.

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Soap, with a dash of opera, revels in making a splash

Review by Laurie Atkinson [Reproduced with permission of Fairfax Media] 30th Jul 2011

Once you’ve seen Soap you might be forgiven for thinking that this brilliant hybrid of circus, theatre and vaudeville was an expensive ad for a club not a stone’s throw from the St James.

There must be about as much water on stage as there is in the club as the seven unnamed wizards of aerial silk, acrobatics, comic miming, juggling, singing, and dancing splash about in their bathtubs or get rained on from sprinklers high above the stage.

Also – and I certainly wasn’t expecting this – there’s an opera singer with an extraordinarily powerful voice who sings arias ranging from Mozart’s ‘The Magic Splash’ all the way to Strauss’s ‘The Blue Dantub’ and the Beatles’ ‘All You Need is Splash’.

The magnificent seven also do a neatly choreographed dance with mops in a vain attempt to clean up the water. And three of the men perform with great modesty a funny teasing dance with towels to a well-known tune by Tchaikovsky, while the amazing juggler performs a striptease as he bounces three rubber balls. 

One expects the performers to be supremely fit athletes, and of course, they are. However, I find it impossible to believe that any one has toes as flexible as the toes that performed a romantic love story on the edge of one of the seven baths.

This is showbiz at its polished professional best with something for everyone. I suggest you splash out and pay these artists a visit. 

Take the youngsters too; they’ll love this sassy, spirited show. They left the enthusiastic opening night audience demanding more but professionals to the end they gave no encores. 
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Delightful, enthralling, provoking awe

Review by Greer Robertson 29th Jul 2011

Bath time will never be the same again! Frothy and frivolous, sensual and exciting, this cleansing theatrical experience had me truly absorbed.  

I spent 2 glorious hours with 7 people, 6 bathtubs, a rubber ducky and quite a bit of water. Strange for a theatre you might say, bizarre would be more accurate, but spellbound I was, all the same. It was fun.

Direct from Berlin, these small-in-number but huge-in-talent performers fuse circus, comedy and cabaret in a truly unique setting. The impressive line-up of performance backgrounds of Cirque du Soleil, Dance Star and Britney Spears Circus Tour is collectively of a calibre seldom seen in New Zealand.

Turn on the taps and out it comes, pouring and gushing at times, trickling at others.

But, right from curtain up, the unashamedly cheesy Bobby Darin’s 50’s song sets the scene with ‘Splish Slash, I was taking a bath …’ Obvious? Yeah! I thought I sort of knew what was to be expected. Wrong! Out of a most natural daily occurrence of necessary ablutions the unnatural happens.

From the divine diva, Patricia Holtzmann, who spouts forth arias with seductive renditions of Handel, Beethoven and even The Beatles, prowessing herself from the loftiest tub sanctuary; to the lovable cute comic, Marie-Andrée Lemaire, whose lusty desires finds solace in the unexpected; there’s hardly a dull moment.

Clever, effective staging, music and lighting gives the show an ageless and global quality. Laughter is universal. And the mixture of classical and contemporary styles, with a full range of emotions is cleverly choreographed for the audience’s total enjoyment. Some vignettes work better than others, but when they are good, they are very, very good. Deep belly laughing ensued. However, technical sound difficulties at times marred the overall gloss. 

Behind their consummate skills as either aerial artists or jugglers, their characters take on very believable personas. This makes it more interesting and I still marvel at seeing a life time of honed training oozing from every pore. Having previously witnessed an array of the world’s best, I was delighted and enthralled, even in awe, with Alessandro di Sazio, originally from Siciliy but latterly, Germany. His sculptured Adonis body is faultless in the pursuit of perfection and his solos are second to none.

The writhing anguish of contemporary angst, while balancing on and in a tub, is expertly portrayed by Michael Lanphear. “Try to keep the water in the tub Michael.” No, he is too distraught in getting his deep inner thoughts out to notice. 

We all have bathroom habits. Which character will you be? Are you the perpetual warbler? Are you the narcissistic time waster?

Go see Soap. Towels and shower caps are not always necessary.

Sadly, there is no Grand Finale; it leaves you wanting more. 

But where did all the water go?
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