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LA CLIQUE at The Leicester Square Spiegeltent

La Clique was created by David Bates in the Spiegel “Mirror” Tent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2004 “redefining variety for the 21st Century… using a small round, central stage, in a cabaret setting”.

Heather Halliday
Heather Halliday

The show has landed in central London for Christmas and New Year in the middle of Leicester Square and is at its best when showcasing some superb circus acts.

Top of the very strong bill is American Heather Halliday as an amazing sword swallower and fire eater. Next, there is LJ Marles, whom I saw just over ten years ago when he graduated from London’s ‘Circus Space’. Then and now he is one of the very few, perhaps only, artiste working with tension straps that are fixed to floor and ceiling allowing him to use them in all sorts of impossible ways. His act was superb ten years ago – it is even more so now!

Craig Reid does incredible things with Hula Hoops as well as showcasing his first quick-change act in the second half of the show. This has to be seen to be believed, and is simply spectacular!

Acrobatic partners The Skating Willers III(Pierre and Stef) do unbelievable things on roller skates, at one point using a member of the audience whose sense of balance will never be the same again, and J’Aimime does likewise using a huge balloon.

Other circus acts include a balancing act By Mirko Koeckenberger, Katharine Arnold on the aerial trapeze and Hugo Desmarais using the loop strap.

The ‘cabaret’ artistes are, perhaps, not as strong as the circus acts: Leo P dances all around the Spiegel Tent whilst playing the baritone saxophone, and Bernie Dieter comperes much of the show as well as singing and bringing the entertainment to a close, which is an anticlimax: better to have ended with one of the many really spectacular circus acts!

The first-rate band, which plays almost continuously, is under the direction of Dannie Bourne: a shame that throughout the evening the volume level (sound: Donald Bell) is just too high, often making it very difficult to concentrate on the acts! Lighting is imaginatively designed by Jamie Heseltine.

Go for the circus acts – they are all superb and have that “WOW” factor!

4 stars

Review by John Groves

The fun and unmissable festive treat!

Expect the unexpected!
Dates: LA CLIQUE is back from November for 8 weeks only!!
Venue: The Leicester Square Spiegeltent
Christmas in Leicester Square WC2H 7NA


  • John Groves

    John Groves studied singing with Robert Easton and conducting with Clive Timms. He was lucky enough to act in the British premiere of a Strindberg play at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe more years ago than he cares to remember, as well as singing at the Royal Opera House - once! He taught drama and music at several schools, as well as examining the practical aspects of GCSE and A level drama for many years. For twenty five years he has conducted a brass band as well as living on one of the highest points of East Sussex surrounded by woodland, deer, foxes and badgers, with kites and buzzards flying overhead.

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