REVIEW: LA CLIQUE AT The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm

PUBLISHED: 10:49 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:35 07 September 2010

Four star rating YOU D have to be a po-faced killjoy to pour critical cold water on such an energetic, fun show, but sorry, I prefer my entertainment with more substance. La Clique is a changing line-up of burlesque, c

LA CLIQUE

The Roundhouse, Chalk Farm

Four star rating

YOU'D have to be a po-faced killjoy to pour critical cold water on such an energetic, fun show, but sorry, I prefer my entertainment with more substance.

La Clique is a changing line-up of burlesque, comedy, cabaret and circus acts and I should say that it is slick, sometimes sexy and highly skilled enough to deliver wow factor.

But forget any Weimar-esque connotations of cabaret as dark, decadent and satirical, this is risk-free anarchy-lite entertainment for the noughties generation, assumed to have the attention span of a gnat with no stomach for politics or emotion.

The trendily dressed audience of professional 30-somethings lapped up the bloke who juggled while miming Freddy Mercury songs, and the ironic stripping act. (We know it was ironic because Ursula Martinez kept winking to make it ok for us to be watching something we might otherwise find offensive and tacky like her 'disappearing hanky' finale.)

There was a diverting comedian who impersonated The Queen, leopardskin-clad trapeze twirling twins, a couple who spun each other around on roller skates and a girl who did things with glittery hoops.

As the old Gypsy song goes, You've Gotta Have A Gimmick, and everyone did; the magician was dippy and Swedish and rounded off his act by playing a harmonica stuffed inside his mouth, the stripper did magic and the cabaret singer comedy.

Most acts played to ear splittingly loud rocky soundtracks which brings me to my other beef, a full house at £25 a seat and no live music bar a lone underused pianist?

He accompanied cabaret act Miaow Miaow, who clearly had a belter of a voice though it was hard to hear for all the gimmickry of cod accents and chicken fillet bra fillers emerging from her dress while being hoiked around by two male audience members.

Did she think we'd all mutiny if she just got up and delivered a spine tingling torch song?

The show though is perfect for the Roundhouse, which has championed circus for years and cultivated an audience of young professionals who perhaps shy away from straighter theatre.

Until January 17.

Bridget Galton


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