Christmas is here! And what better way to celebrate than with a world-class cabaret variety show?

Credit: Craig Sugden

Such is the alternative festive offer of La Clique, billed as ‘a Christmas show like no other’ that’s been wowing audiences from Australia to Europe since 2004. And taking a punt on something that so boldly flouts seasonal expectations pays off: this is an absolute gem of a show, sparkling with all the glittered leotards, technicolour lights, and many mirrored panels of the Spiegeltent — for which this show could not be more perfect. Whoever you are, for whatever reason you are reading this, I implore you to go!

Nestled in the bustling heart of Leicester Square’s Christmas Market, La Clique will transport you to another world, full of the nostalgia, sounds, and styles of a richer, sexier time. It’s decadent but celebratory — a true escape from the normality and coldness of the run up to the holidays. The showmanship is top of its class: from virtuosic singing to flirtatiously controlled strip teases, edge-of-the-seat unicycle routines, and the most original (and masculine) pole dance I have ever witnessed, the variety and talent on display is astonishing. Every act stopped me in my tracks — and not just for the skill, but also for the humour, daring, and charisma of all the performers. How to pull off a stunningly ambitious crucifixion-inspired aerial routine right off the back of an interactive standup set? And all while dressed as a brutally sassy Jesus?? (‘Amen, bitch’.)

Credit: Craig Sugden

But for all the humour, lightness and edge, there is something profoundly beautiful happening here. Having each performer come on for multiple acts gives them room to show off different sides of their personalities: Tara Boom’s hilariously bonkers popcorn-making hula hoop routine is followed by her sweet and tender Japanese umbrella dance. Scored by softened arrangements of tracks like ‘Creep’ and ‘Umbrella,’ these more movement-based acts are deeply touching and highly mesmeric. It’s immensely relaxing to be in such capable hands, which, combined with the edge-of-the-seat suspense of the aerial sequences, creates an incredibly moving back and forth of tension and release. This balance unlocks something deep and powerful in the psyche: even though the performers could fall down at any minute, they make it through — staying cool and classy all the while and not batting an eyelid.

Credit: Craig Sugden

This is a show that knows exactly what it is, how it works, and who it’s for. It pushes the limits of what live cabaret can be, and perfectly conjures the unadulterated awe of watching people so completely devoted to their craft. If you’re looking for a way to be truly transported this year, this is your show! Easily one of the best nights out in town.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

{🎟 AD – PR invite – Tickets were gifted in exchange for an honest review}

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