Underbelly Festival Cavendish Square, London – until 3 July 2022
Guest reviewer: Zahid Fayyaz
The now ubiquitous cabaret and circus spectacular La Clique has made its annual return to London for its 18th year. As the compere says before the show started, the consumption of alcohol is very much encouraged. Though this leads to big queues at the bars, which will hopefully speed up over the run, it’s a great night out. Located in the spiegeltent in Cavendish Square, behind John Lewis on Oxford Street, it’s a lovely spot on sunny days.
The show itself does not have a massively complicated format. The acts come onstage to wow the audience, one after the other. A lot of the overall effect depends on the calibre of the acts being showcased, and in this instance it is consistently high. There is a mixture of different styles in this show, from acrobatics and burlesque, to lounge-singing and clowning. There are death-defying close calls from the acrobatics, unicycling, adventures with a balloon, a full bath tub, and a skating exhibition that has to be seen to be believed. The cast is uniformly of a high standard, so it’s hard to single any one of them out for praise. However, a personal highlight is the opening of the second act, when LJ Marles uses his unique tension straps to jaw dropping-effect in his aerial performance.
Suffice it to say, this is probably one of the strongest line-ups in the La Clique show over the last few years, and it is thoroughly enjoyable throughout. After its run in London, the show is due to go to Edinburgh for the Fringe. It comes highly recommended with its current line-up, and leaves audiences with a big smile on their faces. Though, be prepared to get wet if you are sitting in the front row.
La Clique continues though 3 July then moves to Edinburgh in August.