Circus Thrives At Hippodrome, But For How Long?

By Lindsey Last edited 184 months ago
Circus Thrives At Hippodrome, But For How Long?

Hippodrome Leicester Square, La Clique
The Hippodrome on the corner of Leicester Square was opened as a home for real circus and performance in 1900. They had polar bears! A 100,000 gallon tank of water! Elephants, for goodness sake.

Its revival in October last year with the vastly popular and sexy alternative circus La Clique in residence, was audacious, featuring Miss Behave and Ursula Martinez among others more used to fringe venues and spiegel tents. With tickets now booking to April 2009, the move was truly zeitgeisty. Up close and personal performance is definitely hot right now, as Madame Zingara knows.

Unfortunately, it's not lucrative enough to secure its tenancy. Although the Hippodrome is quickly leaving behind its dubious 20 odd years as a byword for terrible tourist and "up west" clubbing, once unforgettably with Stringfellow's greasy paws all over it, it looks likely to be redeveloped into a huge casino, replete with Ramsay restaurant, however unlikely that sounds at this time of economic turmoil.

It sounds madness to us, and yet, they've got money to restore the building to its original glory, revealing, as the Guardian reports, "the minstrel's gallery at the top... and wonderful plasterwork, friezes and balustrades".

Perhaps if the big boys with the big gambling money could find space in their hearts development for a cosy cabaret restaurant space too, a slinky, sexy corner retained for perpetuating the Hippodrome's circus past, Leicester Square could have a genuine gem on its corner.

Meanwhile, get tickets to experience La Clique yourself (tickets start from £15) or take up our recommendation and get along to the Salvation party on New Years Day.

Image courtesy of La Clique

Last Updated 30 December 2008