The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings








Etcetera and
Short Term Listings


NYC Restaurants


New Jersey







Free Updates
Writing for Us
A CurtainUp London London Review
La Clique

Can you hear this? Sometimes my accent can be very hard to do!— Mario
 La Clique
Miss Behave
(Photo: Perou)
La Clique, a cabaret style entertainment with a nod to circus, is proving to be the perfect antidote to these days of economic recession and depression— euphemistically known as the credit crunch, which sounds to me like a breakfast snack bar that you don't have to pay for until later. Housed in the red Spiegeltent, inside the Hippodrome, La Clique's clientele sit round a small circular red stage, maybe eight feet wide to watch a series of original acts. I saw a gymnast who emerges from a bath and twirls wearing only a pair of wet jeans, acrobats and a contortionist, a fun stripper and puppeteers, two men to a life size singing and dancing female puppet who is more grotesque than burlesque, and a girl with hula hoops that spin so fast we can only see the orbs of light.

Although the style is distinctly Victorian, the acts themselves are modern and innovative versions of the old vaudevillian tradition with elements of a freak show. The giant woman marionette with a slinky body opens the show as she mimes to a well known popular song, two men controlling her arms and leg movements. She is followed by two Australian men (Denis Lock and Hamish McCann) with an act called "The English Gents", who dressed in pin stripe suits and bowler hats, balance, do the splits, perform lifts and lifting splints all with that well know British stiff upper lip, while puffing a pipe, reading a newspaper or holding a brolly as if they were hailing a cab. Their closing feat sees them stripped down to Union Jack underwear, lovely bare torsos, but with long black socks and suspenders. Miss Behave wiggles her rear at the audience, tantalisingly clad in a laced up, skin tight, red rubber dress and then swallows a sword. She has many other cringeworthy "skills" and is a handy woman if you need to extinguish your cigar and there is no ashtray in the vicinity. Don't ask! But it involves her tongue! Mario Queen of the Circus (Clarke McFarlane) makes an appearance as Freddie Mercury in leather and combines the music of Queen and lots of strutting and jokes with juggling and unicycle skills, and juggling while riding a unicycle. These performers are nothing if not versatile.

The bizarre Captain Frodo with his far away gaze contorts himself through two stringless tennis rackets in a feat of double jointed exertion of the kind that makes you groan and turn away not bearing to look. He later moves up a tower of increasing small paint tins to sit on the top of a baked bean can- quite remarkable! Yulia Pikhtina from Kiev beautifully spins many hoola hoops setting up double helixes of silver whirling shapes. For my money there are two really outstanding acts. There's David O'Mer's original strap hanging gymnast from out of a Victorian enamel bath half filled with water, setting up aerial flumes of spray which are lit against the dark backdrop, making his act visually exciting and artistic. That is if you aren't already getting enough pleasure from his magnificent physique! I noticed a standing ovation for him from some attractive young women. He spins and turns and twists and dives on the straps and the front row are provided with a polythene blanket to catch the worst of the spray. It's witty and watery! Ursula Martinez gives us a first act strip. Starting off in a demure business suit she finds a small red handkerchief and makes it disappear like a magician only to find it in an item of clothing which signifies that this is what she will remove next. What makes this complete strip extra special is how much she enjoys it, showing off her slim, tanned frame with a really mischievous twinkle. It's a million miles away from the sleaze of Peter Stringfellow's completely naked pole dancing club.

The music is old fashioned and accessible, some of it classical romps like the Thunder and Lighting Poker, fairground music and classic songs from Queen. Get there early as the seats are unreserved and the nearer the front you are the better!

La Clique
Conceived and created by Brett Haylock and David Bates for La Clique Productions

Starring: Captain Frodo, Miss Behave, Ursula Martinez, David O'Mer, Denis Lock, Hamish McCann, Clarke McFarlane, Derge Deslauriers, Enock Turcotte, Yulia Pikhtina
Lighting: Willie Suddon
Running time: Two hours with one interval
Box Office: 020 7907 7097
Booking to 28th January 2009
Reviewed by Lizzie Loveridge based on 23rd October 2008 performance at The Hippodrome, Corner of Charing Cross Road and Leicester Square, London WC2 (Tube: Leicester Square)
Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
  • I agree with the review of La Clique
  • I disagree with the review of La Clique
  • The review made me eager to see La Clique
Click on the address link E-mail:
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):

Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email and state if you'd like your comments published in our letters section.

London Theatre Tickets
Lion King Tickets
Billy Elliot Tickets
Mighty Boosh Tickets
Mamma Mia Tickets
We Will Rock You Tickets
Theatre Tickets
London Theatre Walks

Peter Ackroyd's  History of London: The Biography

London Sketchbook

tales from shakespeare
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
Click image to buy.
Our Review

©Copyright 2008, Elyse Sommer.
Information from this site may not be reproduced in print or online without specific permission from