Soap is the super wet and sexy show at this year’s Underbelly Festival on the Southbank that mixes acrobatics with dance, music, comedy, a lot of water and bathtubs. Dave Cross spoke to three of the cast – Jennifer Lindshield, Anton Belyakov and Lena Reis – to find out more about this cleanest of shows.
Hi there, how would each of you describe Soap to someone who has never seen it before?
Anton Belyakov: Soap is an entertaining show with water where a comical character guides you through the secret, sexy and funny world of bathing.
Jennifer Lindshield: Soap is a wonderful mix of acrobats, an opera singer, a clown, bathtubs and water. This is a fun and sexy show but also appropriate for all ages. It focuses on the theme of bathtubs and all of the wonderful and amazing things that can be done in and using one. There are many creative and comic elements showcasing the beauty, strength and skill of the acrobats. As the opera singer, I use my voice and acting skills to connect with the individual performers and the audience.
We know Soap has played all over the world – when did it start and how long has each of you been in the show?
JL: The show has now been playing since 2007 and I have been a part of the show for the last two and a half years.
Lena Reis: Soap started at the Chamäleon Theatre in Berlin about 11 years ago. I joined the cast about three years ago.
AB: I have been privileged to be part of Soap for half of its existence.
What is the music in the show?
JL: The music in the show ranges from Puccini to Gnarls Barkley to Sia to Tool. It is quite a mix but it is well chosen. There are original arrangements by Tal Balsa – who took the song Splish Splash by Bobby Darin and arranged it in the style of Mozart – Handel, and even the Beatles. He also arranged a version of I Put a Spell on You by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins.
AB: The soundtrack is a modern integration of pop songs and classic opera.
What do each of you do in the show?
JL: I play the Opera Diva in the show. I sing and have fun with the acrobats and clown, but I save the serious stunts for the professionals.
LR: I am the contortionist in Soap.
AB: I am mostly known as the ‘handstand’ act in the show!
What are your favourite parts of the show?
JL: I enjoy watching my colleagues show their amazing talents, sometimes with water! I enjoy singing my scenes and connecting with the audience dramatically and with humour.
LR: I love the group sections a lot because I love having fun with my colleagues on stage, as well as my contortion act because it’s my special moment of the show.
AB: Honestly I love the whole show.
It’s described as ‘sexy and hilarious’ – can you each talk about this?
JL: It is sexy because we have acrobats with amazing bodies that showcase their talents while sometimes getting wet. It is hilarious because there are many comedic scenes with the clown, but really everyone in the cast gets to show their comedic chops in the different scenes!
AB: It’s sexy because combining the elements of water, body and acrobatics inevitably leads to sexy things. It’s hilarious due to an amazing comical character and all the gags involved in the show.
What would you like people to take away from Soap?
JL: As the opera singer, I hope that if they have never heard an opera aria before, that they enjoy it and know that it is accessible and not something to be intimidated by.
LR: A fun night, a good laugh and to be overwhelmed by the acrobatics.
AB: I want people to take away good vibes.
There’s a lot more than Soap at this year’s amazing Underbelly Festival on the Southbank with a totally diverse range of shows and performers. There’s loads of comedy including Nina Conti, Sara Pascoe, Ruby Wax, Ed Gamble, Late Night Gimp Fight and Steen Raskopoulos. Cabaret shows including Myra DuBois, House of Burlesque, Fatman Scoop’s Hip Hop Cabaret, Alternative Eurovision and Jess Robinson, plus you can enjoy The Silent Disco Show and loads more. Check out the website for more details and tickets.