La Clique Noël – Part Deux (4 stars)

La Clique Noël – Part Deux

credit: Ian Georgeson

Outrageously fun festive extravaganza featuring some real stars of the cabaret world

Cabaret is renowned for its ability to subvert traditional and expected modes of entertainment and long-running cabaret institution La Clique has operated under this very principle for over a decade. Described as 'one of the Fringe's greatest success stories', various incarnations of the show have been performed over the years but last year's La Clique Noël was the troupe's first foray into the festive season, ultimately proving a hit with audiences at Edinburgh's Christmas.

La Clique Noël – Part Deux is the outrageous follow-up to last year's show, with an all new lineup of weird and wonderful acts that mix alternative burlesque, contemporary vaudeville, comedy and circus to create the ultimate seasonal extravaganza. Expertly emceed by the supremely charismatic Bernie Dieter, star of 2018 Fringe hit Little Death Club, Part Deux is a diverse and risque showcase of cabaret talent, from the jaw-dropping fire-eating and sword-swallowing of New York City's Heather Holliday to the self-deprecating sleight of hand of comic Paul Zenon. Mosh's elegant striptease to 'My Heart Belongs to Daddy' and Stephen Williams' aerial acrobatics during his world-famous bath act supply a decent amount of shock and awe, while Florian Brooks' juggling contributes an element of sweetness to the overall punk vibe.

Many elements of the show are beautifully choreographed, with the La Clique Palais Orkestra providing excellent backing for each act, as well as some storming sax and trumpet solos. Singer Kelly Wolfgramm's rendition of 'I Put a Spell on You' is a particular highlight, as her soaring vocals echo out across the Festival Square Spiegeltent, sending shivers through the audience.

Despite being billed as a festive production, the references to Christmas are limited, which actually adds to the show's appeal. There's a mini Christmas tree on stage before the show starts and a cover of 'Winter Wonderland' somewhere along the way, but the focus is primarily on having a unique and fun night out, accompanied by some phenomenal performers, whatever your taste in entertainment.

La Clique Noël – Part Deux, Festival Square Spiegeltent, until Sat 5 Jan.

La Clique Noel – Part Deux

Return of the festive cabaret show. Featuring a line-up of new faces and old favourites, and hosted by the mistress of mayhem herself, Bernie Dieter, of Little Death Club fame.

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