One of the stars of La Clique, a bawdy, burlesque late night circus show is the venue it’s held in. The Famous Spiegel Tent is an Edinburgh Festival institution, and the city is a brighter place for the month every year it pitches up its mirrored doors and wooden & stained-glass interior.
The human stars of the show are no less impressive though, and feature such acts as the English Gentlemen, two acrobats who perform incredible feats of strength and agility whilst wearing bowler hats and Union Jack underpants. And Captain Frodo, a rubber-limbed contortionist whose signature act is pushing his whole body through a pair of tennis rackets. And that’s all before we get to the stripping magician, who pulls handkerchiefs from ever-more risque places…
The audience are encouraged to clap, cheer, whoop and holler whenever they feel like it, and that just adds to the whole vaudeville atmosphere of proceedings. Indeed, with the world-class acts, the noise and smells of the circus, the sounds of the crowd, the magical music and the venue itself, there are times when it feels like you’re back in some early 2oth century entertainment.
Some circuses of this kind have filler material between the main acts. It’s to La Clique’s credit that it has none – just an ongoing procession of amazing feats and acts that you definitely should roll up for.