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La Clique

  • Theatre, Circuses
  • 3 out of 5 stars
La Clique, 2019
Photograph: Craig Sugden

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

‘La Clique’ is very much la cliché but it’s a fun way to spend a few hours

This review is from 2019. ‘La Clique’ returns for Christmas 2022 with a new line-up.

Leicester Square isn’t usually known as a visitor destination for Londoners. But when Underbelly pops up its much-loved Spiegeltent there, and throws in legendary cabaret show ‘La Clique’, it’s worth a punt to venture back to tourist central. 

Practical tips first. Get to the show early as it’s unreserved seating. Also, avoid the front row unless you want to get drenched (more on this later). Buy a drink from the bar before you go in to find your seats: you’ll feel more in the spirit of the night with a glass of wine, I promise. 

The show has all the elements of cabaret you might expect: a garish host with a poor German accent, a bit of striptease, some scantily clad acrobats and a dash of fire-blowing to boot. One highlight was Zoe Marshall, an aerialist who somehow hangs from the roof only by her hair and manages to make it look rather effortless. The performance by Jamie Swan, which is a sort of ‘Magic Mike’ on water affair involving an iron-cast bathtub, also brings some much-needed uniqueness to the line-up. Swan kicks a lot of his watery spectacular into the audience so unless you’re the type who really loves the water rides at Thorpe Park, it’s best to sit a bit further back. 

Sadly, several of the other acts, as well as the singing throughout, didn’t deliver. They felt a little tired and passé compared to other shows of this type, though you can appreciate it’s a tough gig when you’re up against slick acrobatic operations such as Cirque du Soleil. Maybe it’s about the current mix of acts, or maybe things have moved on a little since the last time the show was in town, but if you’ve seen really great cabaret before, ‘La Clique’ won’t blow you away. However, it certainly won’t offend you either. With cheap tickets available for most nights, it’s a good way to spend a few hours escaping the cold this winter. 

Written by
Rosie Akenhead


£11.50-£66. Runs 1hr 45min
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