23
Nov
2008

La Clique Wows London’s Hippodrome

The London Hippodrome is an ideal venue for a variety show like La Clique; the perfect combination of spectacle and sleaze, opulence and intimacy. And compère Mikelangelo, who only joined La Clique’s ranks last week, is pure sexual magnetism in a pastel-blue suit.

His thunderous baritone as he purrs depraved lyrics (‘sodomy is not just for animals, human flesh is not just for cannibals’) sends shivers down my spine straight to my knickers. Imagine, if you can, an even-filthier-than-usual Matt Berry with slicked-back hair and a penchant for seducing audience members, and you’re somewhere along the right lines.

Captain Frodo is a contortionist Avid Merrion with tattoos, pierced nipples and double-jointed limbs that he can dislocate at will. His goofy, bumbling charm and choreographed tumbling across the stage as he stretches and bends his body through two stringless tennis rackets leaves the audience shrieking with laughter and horror, watching from behind their hands.

Mario, Queen of the Circus, is Russell Brand with a painted-on moustache and a fixation with Freddie Mercury. Dressed in tight black leather, he mimes to Queen’s hits whilst juggling and riding a unicycle; an innovative subversion of traditional circus skills that convert the intimate music-hall atmosphere into a stadium-rock extravaganza, complete with crowd-surfing finale.

David O’Mer is a wet dream of a Diet Coke ad who has been a cornerstone of the La Clique line-up for three years. Soaping himself in a bath on stage, he leaves all the girls breathless and damp, and not necessarily just as a result of his amazing feats of aerial ballet, in which he flicks huge glittering arcs of water across the entire auditorium.

I don’t need to say much about Ursula Martinez; her cult striptease act revolving around a mysteriously disappearing hanky is renowned the world over, and to see it in the flesh (so to speak) does not disappoint. So too The English Gents, who perform unbelievable feats of acrobatic strength, balance and skill whilst dressed in bowler hats and three-piece suits; casually reading the Financial Times.

The diversity of the acts involved is in itself astounding, though they are consistently tongue-in-cheek, outré, charismatic and debauched. La Clique is a passionate celebration of sideshow freaks, oddities, novelty acts and bizarre talents. This is one show you must catch before it leaves town. Just don’t blame me when it makes you want to run away with the circus.

La Clique is at The London Hippodrome until April 19, 2009
10-14 Cranbourn Street
WC2H 7JH

Box Office: 020 7907 7097

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