Sunday, September 21, 2008

La Clique at the Spiegeltent

My first visit in recent times to the Dublin Theatre Fringe Festival - the right-on side of the Dublin arts scene. La Clique is a kind of miniature Cirque du Soleil and all the better for avoiding the corporate giantism that has afflicted that idea. The event took place in the Spiegeltent - a kind of small top situated in the Iveagh Gardens. It was a balmy evening and the various food stalls were doing brisk business as lovers of varying sexual hues strolled through the tree crowned paths. I loved the lack of preciousness about the event. Drink was being served right through the show and not in those bloody plastic cups. Big bottles of Erdinger were being bandied about and one louser had even brought his own bag of Heineken which he shamelessly worked his way through in the front row. The tone of the show was relentlessly bawdy - even when acrobats or contortionists were involved. The opening song informed us that "sodomy is not just for animals" and things got more gamey as the night progressed. This culminated in a fairly conventional strip tease that ended with the artiste extracting a small red cloth from her nether portions - she then proceeded to draw it under the snout of a bemused punter in the front row. There was a lot of talented jugglers, balancers, hoop spinners and the like but what made the show remarkable was the fact that it wasn't just po-faced expertise, each act referred to itself in a self-deprecating and irreverent way - apart from the Asian hoop twirler who was so fucking fabulous that she didn't need to. Great stuff entirely.