This may be the first five-day working week since 1492 but there’s plenty of excellent entertainment around to soothe away the pain so with zip, zero and zilch further ado, here are our zingers for this week.
The Zinger Of The Week could well end up being the Zinger Of The Year so hearken ye, hearken ye. Eurovision may be a completely kitsch collision of disco, nationalism, outre fashion and downright weirdness but last year’s Alternative Eurovision at the Udderbelly was one of our cabaret highlights of 2010.
On Friday, this year’s Alternative Eurovision will be hosted by Spymonkey‘s Petra Massey and Toby Parks who will be introducing ten of the greatest London cabaret acts around who have one song each to win over the crowd.
Last year’s winners Bourgeois and Maurice represented Tanzania; this year they’re back to defend their crown. Our favourite 2010 entry, the Vatican’s own Ophelia Bitz is putting together a unique live performance while EastEnd Cabaret have made a video especially for this (see below). Giving them evils over the course of the evening will be the likes of Sarah-Louise Young, Mr B the Gentleman Rhymer and the younger, talented Des O’Connor while half-time hand-dancing duties fall to the YouTubetastic Cleary and Harding. Tickets are £17.50 and are available from the Udderbelly site.
If you want an alternative to this Alternative, the Bethnal Green’s Working Men’s Club will have their own Eurovision voting spectacular. Hot Breath Karaoke’s Foreign Tongues (£8) promises a tasty smorgasbord to get down and dirty to.
Wednesday’s Zinger: Tonight, the Menier Chocolate Factory will be where you can see hilarious ventriloquist Nina Conti (£15-£25) sticking her hand up more often than the class swot as she introduces us to her coterie of smartarse zoo animals. “Do you realise you’re watching a monkey get fisted on stage?” was one of the more memorable things we heard the last time we saw her.
Thursday’s Zinger: If you only see one pantomime about a man caught between his mother and the attentions of a dashing terrorist called Mohammed, make it Alp Haydar’s Flight 666 to Bermuda (£7) at the RVT. Step aboard for erotic songs, expert visuals and maybe some Whitney Houston.
Friday’s Zinger: If Eurovision is not your thing, you can go catch music-hall murder-mystery musical The Vaudevillains(£17.50/£22.50) at the Charing Cross Theatre or watch the tassels twirl at the Folies Bergère (free) down in the “intimate” venue that is cocktail bar CellarDoor.
Saturday’s Zinger: No matter how blatant the Eurovision
mutual backscratchingvoting is this year, they’ll have to take the biscuit and the tin it came in to match the double-barrelled brazenness that is Audacity Chutzpah, the clown-queen of burlesque. She’ll be at Dirty Dick’s where for £8 on the door you can expect comedy, magic, live music and a free drink.
Sunday’s Zinger: If you have a whippet and a flat cap, you probably already have your ticket to the Working Men’s Club (£5) at Leicester Square Theatre; then again, even if you’re not a crass Northern stereotype we reckon you’ll enjoy comedy from (amongst others) Earl Okin, Scott Capurro, Meryl O’Rourke, Tim Shishodia, Lindsay Sharman and Tom Webb as well as the pies, the darts and the meat raffle.
Last Saturday saw those crazy cats EastEnd Cabaret take to the Southbank where, with the aid of a hastily-assembled flashmob, they filmed the video for their typically saucy Eurovision entry Stand Up And Touch Yourself. They’re refusing to reveal which country they’ll be representing but you can check out their song below before they perform it live on Friday. Would you vote for this or will it get null points? Let us know but keep your hands where we can see them,