La Clique veteran Birdy high-tailed it (literally – she was running late!) to The Beauty tent in Underbelly’s Circus Hub, where she delighted in some amazing and diverse acts.
Ahhh. It’s never really Fringe without a bit of circus, and this was a real treat.
Admittedly, I’m not new to La Clique – it’s been going for two decades now and first started at the Edinburgh Fringe all those years ago – so a) its reputation precedes it, and even if it didn’t, b) I know from experience it’s previously produced some of the best circus and variety on the circuit (circus circuit?).
Well, anyway. It’s safe to say I went into La Clique with high expectations, and I’d also like to add a disclaimer here that I took none of these images myself (because I didn’t want to accidentally kill anyone with a distracting phone flash) so these are all taken from La Clique‘s own website.
La Clique is a professional circus and variety show where we’re introduced to different acts (including acrobats, comedians, magicians, burlesque dancers, variety acts, and even a sword eater!) taking the stage and performing some utterly stunning moves – and sometimes some very silly ones.
The vibe overall is entertainment at its finest – you’re there to have a good time and you know you’re going to get it – but the vibe of the show does change depending on the performers. It ranges from feeling absolutely gobsmacked, to delicate stunned silence – with a bit of comedy and cringe, too.
So, basically something for everyone! Regardless of what your bag is, you’ll be left feeling like you’ve watched a damn incredible show that’s worth every bit of your money.
The show itself
Once you’ve taken your seat, you can relax for an hour and 10 minutes, because you’re in the hands of the pros.
This is a show that runs so smoothly, every second has ironed out, perfectly timed and coordinated to within an inch of its life – even when ginormous poles are being erected in the middle of the tent!
As each act takes the stage, be prepared to whoop! and gasp, laugh and be rendered utterly speechless. You’ll be confronted with jaw-dropping stunts, fabulous burlesque, beautifully delicate balancing acts, and some uncomfortable moments (I could barely watch as the sword swallower’s feats became more outlandish).
The way the show is set up means it can be comfortably viewed from all angles, but this also means it’s at your discretion where you want to sit – and the front row might not be the best idea if you get queasy quite easily.
Some of the highlights for me were the aerial acts, the burlesque act with the popcorn making on her head (yes, she plugged it in on stage and it was hilarious) and the parasol act. And, although I hate to admit it, I won’t forget the banana jugglers any time soon (that’s seared into my brain).
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend La Clique to anyone, this year or any year, and this show is definitely up there as one of my highlights of this year’s Fringe. Absolutely amazing performances – a brilliant show from start to finish!
If you love circus, La Clique will take a special place in your heart and, like me, you’ll feel compelled to return every year to see what these amazing acts have cooked up now.