The Spiegeltent, Leicester Square – until 6th January 2024
Reviewed by: Ava Clarkson
Having recently reviewed an Underbelly show, the same producers as La Clique, I thought I knew what to expect – but I certainly was not expecting this!
The international cabaret sensation that is La Clique, has returned to London’s Leicester Square for the christmas 2023 season. La Clique has toured the globe with sold out runs for nearly 20 years.
The show which boasts “Cabaret, Circus, Comedy, Music” is housed inside the “Spiegeltent” in the centre of the Leicester Squares Christmas market. The atmosphere as you walk inside the big top is amazing, a holly decked bar greets you in a pre-show room, as you wait to enter the show. The staff are friendly and welcoming, inviting you to enjoy the show.
As we move into the big top, it feels like Victorian times with music akin to the Greatest Showman and a beautiful tented ceiling. The audience are seated circled around a small centre stage, and at the edge of the tent are saloon style booths. Everyone has “a good seat”. The ring master arrives and explains he has gathered all the beautiful, talented weirdos from around the world and to leave our troubles at the door.
The lights go down and a silk rope lowers from the ceiling. A muscular bare chested man enters the room and effortlessly moves up and down the silks, falling to gasps and climbing back up to form aerial splits and other body defying moves, whilst dangling from the ceiling. Haunting music plays as he draws you into his act.
Next comes a complete change – puppets! A giant spiral puppet takes to the stage and belts out “you’ve got the music in me” with attitude – I never thought a giant puppet could have attitude – but she does! The puppeteers, Cabaret Decadanse, are behind the puppet and are just as much a part of the show as the puppet herself.
As the acts come and go, you remain mesmerised with feats of daring, including an aerobatic striptease and an acrobatic hip hop performer using hanging elastic bands! Chastity Belt, a singer with the most beautiful Adele style voice, wows us with her wit and voice. She involves the audience and works the room – she has us in the palm of her hand.
Just before the interval comes an act no one was expecting. Tara Boom, “booms” onto the stage with her wide eyed makeup and popcorn dispenser on her head. I do not want to spoil this for you, but suffice to say, partial nudity, popcorn making and butter were all involved in her hilarious show. She took us to the interval with a bang and was by far the star of the night for me.
After the interval, we walk back into the big top, which now has a more modern feel to it. The lighting has changed and the music is upbeat. More acts follow, singing, acrobatics, hoopla skills, a contortionist – this really is a feast for the eyes and senses. During the second half there is full frontal nudity in one act, but the humour he brings to the big top and the response from the audience was just right. Be reminded if you dare to sit in the front row – you are not safe!
Overall, the performers Aaron Marshall, Cabaret Decadanse, Chastity Belt, David Pereira, LJ Marles, Yuliia Pykhtina and Tara Boom provided a night to remember and to be talked about for days. The energy, elegance, comedy and talent in that big top is a sight to behold. A must see over this festive period.