La Clique – Review – ★★★★★
La Clique is back – an unmissable thrill ride with the world’s sexiest cabaret showpeople.
The turf war between producers Brett Haylock (La Soiree) and David Bates (La Clique) has made the latter’s unmissable status a little unpredictable in recent years. While La Soiree has maintained a supremely high standard until its recent hiatus, La Clique has been a tad hit and miss.
However, this year the show is back on five star, show-stopping form, with a troupe of top flight performers from all around the world revelling in the sexy cabaret universe they create.
From the extraordinary aerial talents of Hackney’s own gender-redefining LJ Marles on the straps, via the incredible Heather Holliday’s insane Betty Boop faces as she swallows multiple swords in a jaw-dropping stunt, to The Skating Willers (version three) getting within a whisker of the audience with their ever-spinning, death-defying, roller skate daredevil dance.
On the fun side Craig Hula Boy steals the show as the camp king of the hula hoop, with an Alpine themed routine that leaves you grinning ear to ear – and Craig later joins hot bell boy Mirko Kockenberger for a hilarious acrobatic sailor routine.
Compere/chanteuse Bernie Dieter really makes the show fly by with her raunchy and ribald yet warm and disarming audience interation between acts. There’s an injection of heat with the sexy Jesus aerial routine from Hugo Desmarais – quite the most bonkers, sacrilegious and brilliant act.
On the slightly disappointing side – perhaps as a result of the general covid anxiety – our Betwixtmas experience suffered from a slightly deflated pre-show build up, and the transitions between acts could have been slicker. The moment of beautiful, melancholy magic before the climax was missing from this La Clique, and replaced with Las Vegas spectacle. But, judging the show on its performers and their performances, this is a five star show.
The make or break of a cabaret like La Clique is in the originality and personality of the acts. This year the show oozes charisma, uniqueness, never and talent. Its message for 2022 is sexual revolution!
Main picture: Craig Sudgen