This Christmas I recommend you visit La Clique, a cabaret circus show in Leicester Square. It’s only on for eight weeks so get in fast. Tickets are on sale from £22.50
It’s held in a spiegeltent: an art nouveau style wooden and canvas travelling tent, originating in Belgium in the early 1900s (which often boasted baroque mirrors, stained glass and special booths.)
I’m not usually one for circuses but this was very well done with wit and humour. The balletic rope work was mesmerising and beautiful. A Ukrainian lady spun multiple hula hoops in mind-bending blur. Another artist, Aaron Marshall, is a professional handbalancer (how’s that look on your CV?) perched implausibly upside down balancing on one hand on an armchair. A torch singer, Chastity Belt, sang powerfully like a sexy Adele, while flirting outrageously with the audience. One of my favourite acts was the extremely naughty Tara Boom, who jiggled her perfect buttered breasts while making popcorn on top of her head and later performed a Japanese umbrella dance, balancing five simultaneously with her feet. Another is David Pereira who turned ‘back, sack and crack’ shaving into a shocking but fun work of art.
I sat in the front row, so I got a close look at the perfect bodies of the performers–all delicate sinews, zero body fat, strength and grace.
There is a bar where you can buy (really good salt and sweet) popcorn and drinks. Just outside in the square, there are (somewhat expensive) mulled wine stalls, crepes and cheesy chips.
Afterwards we went to eat at Wong Kei in Wardour Street formerly known as the ‘rudest restaurant in London’. We only got a tiny glimpse of the rudeness – the waitress sneered when I asked her what my mapo tofu came with–’ it comes with chilli’ she said rolling her eyes. I was delighted as I’d boasted about the abrupt service to my mate Jim from Manchester. Glad to see he got to experience it first hand.
I haven’t been for ages. Now the posh red velvet interior (a mashup between imperial China and Toulouse-Lautrec) with food on trolleys has disappeared to make way for utilitarian formica tables. While it is now more approachable, it’s a bit of a shame.
My mapo tofu, vegetarian, was soft, spicy, with a thick gravy, one of the best I’ve ever eaten in London. Jim ordered Sambal squid with egg fried rice which he loved. I saw one lady just having a bowl of rice so it seems there isn’t a minimum charge. The menu is huge. Cash only.