Leicester Square Spiegeltent, London – until 4 January 2020
There is a festive start to the La Clique cabaret of song and acrobatic show but naturally, it is ironic. This is the church of misfits and weirdos where difference is celebrated in a decadent, saucy and sometimes humorous way.
Our hostess/compere for the evening is Bernie Dieter, whom I saw in a similar role for Little Death Club on the South Bank in April. In a sequinned catsuit and towering stilettos, she sets a tone that pushes beyond suggestiveness, singling out audience members for humorous/cringe-worthy humiliation (don’t sit near the front if you want to left alone).
She launches us towards a dazzling array of acrobatics and circus acts with live music accompaniment by singer Kelly Wolfgramm and band. Dieter pops up from time to time throughout – if you’ve seen her before her repertoire will be familiar – and Wolfgramm also comes forward to perform songs periodically (cue an impromptu singalong to her version of Roxette’s ‘It Must Have Been Love’).
The acts may be familiar – aerial acrobatics, hair hanging, juggling, sword swallowing, fire eating etc but each is delivered with a brash sauciness, the costumes often looking like something from the window display of Agent Provocateur or a men’s aftershave advert.
Nonetheless, you can’t accuse the performers of using titillation as cheap entertainment, they are extremely skilled often bringing a fresh edge to the familiar. One particular highlight was fire eater and sword swallower Heather Holliday who manages to blend seductive and sexy with the grotesque.
A guest appearance of ‘Bath Boy’ Stephen Williams also left its mark. He takes the whole shrink to fit jeans idea to a new level, not so much soaking in a bathtub but flirting with it and performing breathtaking aerial acrobatics.
There is one occasion of full nudity – if that is something that bothers you – but this show doesn’t feel exploitative with both male and female performers dressed (or undressed) to arouse.
Charlie Wheeler in La Clique. Photo: Craig Sugden.
It is a celebratory and alluring show of high spirits, suggestive and sexy yes but with buckets of wow moments and plenty of laughs.
La Clique is great, grown-up entertainment, perfect for a dark winter evening in Soho and I’m giving it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.
The running time is approximately 2 hours including an interval and the bar is open throughout.
It is part of the Christmas in Leicester Square festivities in the Spiegeltent and is on until 4 January, ticket details can be found here.
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