It’s been a hot minute since we’ve been to a live show, so it’s up to the latest theatrical production, La Clique, to start us off with a bang — and boy, did they live up to that. With the distinction of being Singapore’s first theatrical performance featuring an international cast to return to the stage since Circuit Breaker in April last year, the show wow-ed with its charming blend of circus, comedy, and cabaret, complete with fire-breathing, sword-swallowing, and stunning acrobatic acts that make for a spectacular visual feast.
Running now till 7 November at the Sands Expo & Convention Centre, the show is here on a limited run before heading over to London’s West End. Since its launch in 2004, the Olivier award-winning show has performed to sold-out audiences in cities such as Adelaide, Brighton, Edinburgh, Melbourne, Montreal, New York and Sydney as well.
“This show is so special, I think that’s something we’ve been missing all this time, the human connection, and you can’t get that from Netflix,” said Bernie Dieter, the host of La Clique, of the live show during a press call earlier this week.
For its Singapore leg, the Sands Expo convention hall has been transformed into an immersive 360-degree space for an up-close, intimate experience — with safe distancing measures in place, of course — such that every seat in the house offers great views to catch the action that’s happening on stage.
And you’ll definitely want to whip out your cameras for the roster of performances too. The entertaining line-up of international acts hail from Germany, Australia, the UK, and more, and includes resident fire-breather and sword-swallower Heather Holliday, acrobatic roller-skating duo The Skating Willers with their dizzying displays, and professional hula hoop artist Lisa Lottie and her quirky routines.
“Naturally, I wanted to do the hardest stuff, and at the time it was only men doing those things, so that was scary to me,” said Holliday on training for her sword-swallowing routine. “With the swords, I couldn’t wait to do that, and when I did do it, I was much smaller than other guys doing it. It’s a lot more of a shock seeing a tiny girl doing it, which is why I was booked more — the swords are almost half my size!”
Acrobat Oscar Kaufmann stunned in two circus-style routines as well, done with artistic flair, while renowned cabaret artist MC Bernie Dieter entertained the audience with both flirty, tongue-in-cheek humour and her incredible pipes.
Personally, I was most impressed by a beautiful aerial dance by Elke Udh, who twisted and turned on the trapeze with ease, while incorporating elements of contemporary dance in her routine as well. All these are topped off with a live band of Singapore-based musicians, who deserve utmost props for nailing the jazzy vibes of the cabaret-style show.
Getting the show live
La Clique is produced by Sliding Doors Entertainment, in collaboration with Unusual Entertainment and Marina Bay Sands, and it has been a journey for those involved. Originally announced earlier in May, it had to be postponed to later in the year, no thanks to P2HA. That said, Milan Rokic, CEO of Sliding Doors Entertainment, said the team was optimistic about making it happen. The show must, no matter what, go on.
“Culture and live entertainment is the fabric of society, so we had to press forward, and I’m thrilled that we have,” said Rokic.”This is the right size of show for the time, the right style, with the humour and wonderful international performances, and live music.”
The “new normal” of theatre — though still as magical
And if you’re wondering how an intimate cabaret-style show can operate despite our current climate of safe distancing, know that Sands Expo has measures in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all guests, sanitisation and SafeEntry check-in included.
The nature of the show is slightly tweaked as well, with less audience-performer interaction than before — though Dieter shared that she still finds joy in the performance.
“I think we have, despite the challenges, managed to capture that spirit of interaction, it’s just a little different now,” she said. “For me, I used to be able to go out into the audience, and if I see a gorgeous man I could just sit on his lap, you know, and I would get carried back to the stage! But now, if I can have that look at each others’ eyes, those smiling eyes, I take that, and I still feel it.”
La Clique Singapore
- Date: 18 September – 7 November
- Venue: Marina Bay Sands Convention & Expo Hall C
- Duration: 90 Minutes, without an interval
- Tickets priced from $98
Tickets for: FRIDAY 8PM / SUNDAY 4.30PM
Tickets for: TUESDAY – THURSDAY 8PM / SATURDAY 4.30PM & 8PM / SUNDAY 8PM
On Marina Bay Sands.
For more details on La Clique, visit lacliquetheshow.com.
update: in response to the new covid-19 restrictions that take effect from 27 September – 24 October 2021, marina bay sands has informed us that there are no current changes to the show capacity, while tickets will be sold in pairs (single transaction).
Images: Sliding Doors Entertainment and Marina Bay Sands.