If you are looking for a night of pure entertainment, irreverent fun and jaw-dropping talent, then look no further: La Clique won't disappoint you.

La Clique saw its beginning at the Edinburgh Festival in 2004 before captivating audiences all around the world with its unique blend of genres, from mesmerising circus and dance numbers to irreverent comedy and burlesque.

The show consists of a series of acts performed by different artists. There is no particular plot or theme, except that of an evening packed with unadulterated fun and joy.

There is a bit of housekeeping swiftly and charmingly conducted by Guy Kable; luckily we are given permission to take short videos and pictures (and how could we resist that?) and to not fret during some of the more dangerous-looking acts of the show, and we're off.

The world renowned burlesque artist Jolie Papillon opens the show, and it is not hard to see why. She performs with power and grace, her physical control is exquisite and her charm and sensuality shine through every movement of her perfectly executed choreographies. Jolie is originally from the Italian town of Rimini, home of the famous visionary film director Federico Fellini; her artistry seems to perfectly continue the tradition as we happily find ourselves being held captive within her vivid, dream-like performance, wishing we'd never wake up. Katherine Arnold is the first aerialist to make us raise our eyes to the sky with her impressive act combining comedy and complex aerial choreography.

Ashley Stroud brings the tent down with her vocals; she is pure class and her voice a velvety powerful instrument that keeps us in awe at every note. But it is Mikael Bres who first really breaks the ice with the audience, thanks to his perfectly achieved mix of comedy, clowning, and overall charm. And just when we think this guy is just funny and full of personality, he suddenly astounds us with a highly impressive and perfectly executed Chinese Pole act, dropping from meters high to a few centimetres to the floor while at the same time delivering some very touching moments of poetic movement.

Sam Goodburn is the boldest and the most risks-taking of the bunch: and risky for the audience too, as you just might end up performing on stage next to him (you have been warned). His comedy and stunts are charming and impressive, and although audience participation might be scary for some, he makes it all worth it.

But the award for king of irreverence goes to Hugo Desmarais; their Gay Jesus will leave you wanting for more (holy water of course) and their movements and aerial skills are highly impressive. Tara Boom shows us two very different characters during the show: a hilariously deranged pop corn seller and a truly mesmerising foot juggler.

The first leaves us confused and amused, but it is the latter that filled the tent with absolute wonder: maybe the most magical moment of the whole evening. The Clique runs until the 7th of January 2023 in the majestic Spiegeltent in Leicester Square. You can find tickets here and using the code LTR8 you can have an 8% extra discount.


Review: Andrew Nucci         Photo: Craig Sugden