A decade and a half after their “birth” at the Fringe, La Clique cabaret and burlesque show are back, rebranding themselves as La Clique Noël – Part Deux.
Spiegeltent, Festival Square
Five out of seven stars
A few regulars are back alongside a few newbies that Aussie Director David Bates has picked up on his travels around the globe. Perhaps the first thing to flag up about this show that despite being advertised on a couple of family oriented websites, this is NOT for the kiddies. Even some of the adults didn’t know where to look at points.
Rather than the cast perform to backing tracks as before, they’re now backed by a superb live band and events are hosted and held together by chanteuse Bernie Dieter who kicks off with an expletive ridden intro and then bursting into song, although not before requesting that a chap in the audience mimic a noise at the end of the track. The nature of the he noise was asked to mimic cannot be published here. Like I said, not for the kiddies.
Bates prides himself on the eclectic nature of the performers he pulls together for these shows and he’s especially proud of Fancy Chance, the acrobatic “hair-hanger” (yes, that’s a thing and it is exactly what it sounds like) one of only four people in the world who can do this.
Veteran magician Paul Zenon and juggler Florian Brooks lend a clean element to proceedings but the tone is regularly and gloriously lowered by the ladies. Potty-mouth Bernie at one point taking to the audience and emerging being carried back to the stage by three rather sheepish looking chaps, sword-swallower Heather Holliday and Muscovite burlesque performer Mosh took advantage of the heating being turned up to 11 to not bother wearing much in the way of clothing.
Proceedings are wrapped up by “bath-boy” Stephen Williams, the front rows being themselves helpfully wrapped in blankets before he performed his Flashdance in the air style act dunking himself in a bath between routines.
All in, an excellent set of performers put together by a passionate director and despite the very adult nature, it’s not just smut, had they toned the language down and worn some more clothes, they could perform for kids but something tells me that won’t happening any time soon.
REVIEW BY CHRIS MACKINNON
Run ends 5 January 2019