Scotch and Soda (London Wonderground)

‘A warm-hearted and skilfully anarchic mash up of music and circus’

Circus and variety are taking over London this summer, and I got my second slice of it in as many nights on Thursday with a visit to the Wonderground.

Housed in the atmospheric Spiegeltent, Australian import Scotch and Soda has a discintly spit 'n' sawdust vibe, as a team of shabbily-dressed acrobats and musicians (The Crusty Suitcase Band) serve up a medley of traditional circus fare – from tumbling to trapeze – packaged up with hillbilly charm.

We meet characters with names like 'The Bush Stranger' and 'The Hobo' who showcase their skills against an upbeat score played on quirky instruments ranging from a tennis racket to a trombone/trumpet hybrid (a 'trumbone', a 'trompet'?).

It's all highly energetic and enjoyable, if lacking in truly jaw-dropping moments. The highlights come when one of 'The Brothers Daevoud and Kid Lightning' shimmies up a pole balanced on the shoulder of the other, and when the company get embroiled in a beautifully choreographed stage fight – it's like watching EastEnders directed by P T Barnum.

The early work around a table is a neat concept though the tricks that take place upon it are tame. I also wasn't convinced by an initially promising sequence involving two birds. And in a rather desperate attempt to get a laugh the aforementioned Bush Stranger flashes his genitals, several times, circling the arena to make sure we all get a look.

But niggles aside this is a warm-hearted and skilfully anarchic mash up of music and circus that brings the spirit of the Edinburgh Fringe to the South Bank.

Scotch & Soda continues at the London Wonderground until 2 August