La Clique

Spiegeltent, Red Square, Britomart, Auckland

09/03/2007 - 25/03/2007

Auckland Festival 2007

Production Details

Producers: David Bates and Brett Haylock
Lighting designer: Willie Suddon
Rigger: Rich Morrod
Audio engineers: Chris O’Brien and Simon Barfoot

Auckland Festival, AK07 and The Famous Spiegeltent are proud to present La Clique. A collection of incredible tricks, stunts, feats and outrages by a group of highly talented artists who have performed to standing room only crowds in Edinburgh, Melbourne and Adelaide. La Clique is sensational and outrageous, from the athlete in the bath, the sword swallowing… the trapezist swinging just above the heads of the audience. Hold on to your glass of wine as you will be astounded by their amazing visual displays.

As visual art forms come, circus arts must be one of the most dynamic and entertaining, and La Clique is no exception as it celebrates the risk, danger, sensuality and pure unadulterated pleasure that a night in the circus should be!

This night will definitely be a night to remember.  Not for the faint hearted!
“Voluptuously saucy to downright raunchy…roll up, roll up for acts that will stun and amaze. Showbiz at it’s best!” The Age, Melbourne

“Sexy, daring and utterly stunning… it could be the most spectacular show you see this festival” Three Weeks

“This is cabaret blinged to the max and an unmissable evenings entertainment”


“The years most extravagant and endearing must-see. You would be nuts to miss it!”
The Australian


Venue: Spiegeltent, Red Square, Britomart
Dates: 9 to 25 March, Tues to Fri 9.15pm, Sat, 7pm & 9.15pm, Sun, 7pm
Bookings: (09) 970 9700,
Price: $30 -$45

HOST: Brett Haylock

Theatre , Physical , Cabaret , Circus , Cirque-aerial-theatre ,

Intimate spectacle – for those who booked

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 12th Mar 2007

Spectacular vignettes of entertainment aside, what I love most about La Clique, is the brazen passion each member of the team throws into their generous performances. The sharp Aucklanders who booked early (before La Clique sold out) are in for an exotic unforgettable ride into a theatrical world of stunning cabaret, amazing physical feats, and modern vaudeville, akin to the best elements of Cirque du Soleil, yet far more tangible, as they’ll enjoy it inside the intimate Spiegeltent. It’s all so much better under the little top.

Just being in the famous Spiegeltent, with its lead-light windows, mirrors, velvet, gold braid and booths, is a treat in itself. Producers David Bates and Brett Haylock (the latter also Host on mic on my night) ensure their retro-suited staff are welcoming; the musical underlay is fun and inviting; the haze and lights are colourful; and attend to all details (such as replacing drinks commandeered into the performance and providing timely wet weather cover for the front row); to make sure we are fully relaxed and primed for a great night out, from the moment we enter their extraordinary home.

The first performance comes from "Mikeangelo", witty raconteur, "The Bull of the Balkans" and runner-up in the 1963 Euro Song-quest (robbed). Accessorised by his accordion, and accompanied by a talented pianist (who sadly remained anonymous), he sings about the "Marinade of Love" with the charm of John Rowles, sliding round from lucky girl to unsuspecting boy in the front row, as the full cast of La Clique slip on for an ensemble tableau to open the show.

Slick and swift, we segue into delightful baroque music to bring on "The English Gents", Denis Lock and Hamish McCann, dressed in pinned stripped suits, top hats and clever status play, for an awesome gymnastic performance that defies gravity. An astonished audience applauds throughout their routine, which although must require strength, endurance and trust beyond my comprehension, Supermen Lock and McCann make it look effortless. A quick costume change, for their ‘encore’ (set to what should be England’s National Anthem, "Land of Hope and Glory" by Elgar), brings the house down.

Comedienne "Miss Behave", with a personality bigger than Ben Hur, followed by some sweet indulgence by Burlesque star "Azaria Universe", provide light relief before Ukrainian hula-hooping artist Yulia Pykhtina takes to the stage to deliver an engaging routine with four circles and a lot of swing.

The first half concludes with "Captain Frodo" from Norway, an incredible contortionist, squeezing his seemingly liquid double-jointed body through a pair of tennis racket frames. He is also an excellent physical comedian, who uses a stool and microphone with stand, to greatly enhance his already stunning routine. And because his personality is so likeable, even his Jesus jokes are hilarious.

The second half features more from the versatile "Mikelangelo", who first plays exquisite clarinet and later returns for a duet with "Captain Frodo", his singing saw and well-spoken backing vocals. The duo is testament to how relaxed and free the La Clique experience makes the audience, as they have us eating out of the palms of their hands, for a foot stomping sing along.

"Miss Behave" returns for more front row antics and sword swallowing. "Azaria Universe" takes to the stage once more, this time draped only in a sea of pearls, for a unique lip-synching routine to eclipse all others.

Not to be outdone by the voluptuous Universe, beautiful Rima fills the limelight with her petit metre high frame, for an exotic belly dancing moment atop the piano.

The superbly built aerialist David O’Mer, with his wet jeans and two large leather straps suspended from the ceiling, takes a graceful bath that leaves the audience uniformly enthralled. 

The evening concludes with Captain Frodo carefully climbing to the top of five empty tins, (the fifth one would hold little more than 500ml), from which he encourages us all to follow our dreams and ambitions, before striking a pose to prove that he really is made of the world’s most elastic ligaments.

Throughout the night, a dedicated team – including lighting designer Willie Suddon, rigger Rich Morrod and audio engineers Chris O’Brien and Simon Barfoot – ably support all acts and artists. When Host Brett Haylock thanks cast and crew, you know teamwork is the backbone of La Clique’s success.

Even though La Clique is sold out, there are plenty of fine shows such as the UK’s Paul Zenon, plus Annie Crummer, Don McGlashan and Jennifer Ward-Lealand*, on offer at the famous Spiegeltent, right through to Sunday 25 March. Make sure you book!

*JWL sold out on 14 March but tickets to an extra show at 7pm on 20 March are available.


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