The Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Hot August Fringe starts this week for a month-long season with three shows every weekday.
Below are our top picks. As usual, we’ve gone for stuff we know something about and stuff that just sounds too intriguing to pass up. All shows are at the RVT unless otherwise stated. If there are any hot tips we’ve missed, let us know in the comments.
RVT favourites Wotever World take over Hot August Fringe every Tuesday with their Wotever Sex, a series of evenings with singers, drama, lectures and films. One definite highlight will be Queer Artwank! on July 26, the first of bawdy wench Ophelia Bitz”s trademark vintage porn nights since her escapades down the Old Vic Tunnels. If you miss that, there’s more Artwank! on 18, 19, 25 and 26 August.
Ever found yourself singing New York, New York in the shower at the top of your voice? Us neither, but you’ll want to hear Melody La Rouge power through this and other Kander & Ebb classic showtunes. (July 25, 10pm, £7)
Blue Lady Tricity Vogue has a ukulele, a fine singing voice and a riotous sense of humour. She also has a new show she’s taking with her to the Fringe and she’ll be trying it out for size on July 27 at 8.30pm.
Oliver Meech will be conducting Live Brain Surgery on 1 and 2 August: “think ‘Being John Malkovich’ crossed with ‘Memento’ and you’re half way there. It’s magic meets neuropsychology.” They had us at John Malkovich.
Wotever Sex continues on 2 August withPaul L Martin’s longrunning variety night Cheese n Crackers continues on 4 August aboard the Battersea Barge. Expect comedy, music, cabaret, cheese and perhaps something to wash the dishes in.
We heart UnderConstruction if only because we never know what to expect (other than the unexpected, obviously). Their show on August 4 will feature ten (count ‘em) of the best acts from their recent Bistrotheque residency.
On 9 August, Miss Hypnotique and John Callaghan will be Waiting For Bono. As it is unlikely that the RVT can accommodate both Mr Hewson and his ego, there will be music, mashups and mirth of the Eccentronica variety to keep the audience occupied.
Float like a butterfly, “sing” like Milli Vanilli : master mimers the LipSinkers will be hoping the only things going down well on the Battersea Barge are their songs and dance moves on 11 August. Landlubbers can see them at the RVT on 24 August.
Dress up in your finest flammables and join the Birdie Dance at Lorraine Bowen’s Polyester Fiesta on 15, 17 and 19 August. If you can remember the 70s, you weren’t properly attired.
Brighton Fringe 2011 Best Cabaret winner Hope Springs is back from the city of croissants and ornamental onions with songs and stories. See her on 17 August.
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. Step aboard for erotic songs, expert visuals and maybe some Whitney Houston.
The man behind the acclaimed hyphenated productions Screwged – the RVT Panto and Postcards From God – The Sister Wendy Musical, masked marvel Marcus Reeves’s new show Masquerade Macabre on 23 August is based on his forthcoming debut album Quicksilver. You can find him on the Battersea Barge.
Shows start at 7.00pm, 8.30pm and 10.00pm. You can turn up for an earlier show and stick around for the rest of the evening but the RVT recommends you show your appreciation of the other acts by dropping some hard-earned into the Hot August Fringe bucket as it goes round.
The Fringe opens tonight and continues weekdays until August 26. Form an orderly queue and no pushing.