London Cabaret Zingers: 20-26 June

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 90 months ago
London Cabaret Zingers: 20-26 June


Dear cabaret fans: you've never had it so good. The scene is bigger and better than ever and now that our friends in the North have finally recognised cabaret with its own category, many of London's top cabaristas are hard at work preparing. By the time August rolls round, we expect they'll have polished Scottish accents and an intimate knowledge of the National Rail website.

Zinger Of The Week:  Burger Queen @ Royal Vauxhall Tavern, Wednesday

Turning beauty contests on their head, oddball Scottee, Camden-Mayoress-And-Plus-Size-Diva Amy Lamé and her fellow celebrity judges have spent the last three Wednesdays working their way through well-padded wannabes looking to be crowned this year's Burger Queen. This week sees the grand final - who will be crowned London's top fatty?

Monday's Zingers: Northern star Myra Dubois is enthralling and entertaining down t'CellarDoor for a very round price.

There's spooky sounds going down at Richard Strange's Cabaret Futura as Spacedog play part of a set voted Best Music Event of Brighton Festival and Fringe 2011. See them call the dead with theremins and uncanny robots at The Paradise in Kensal Green (£10).

Pop down to the Roundhouse to watch the Wau Wau Sisters (£15/£10) get high on their one-off London date as these aerialists recreate the Last Supper. Expect a dozen disciples, copious cocktails and a raucous redemption.

Tuesday's Zingers: Burlesquer Amber Topaz takes her art form back to its (dyed) roots with the first night of her own new show Sauce at the Brickhouse (£10, £35-£40 with food), an evening of prohibition-era delights promising dance, acrobatics and chuckles aplenty. The show continues until July 1.

Timberlina and cohort Hey Baylen will be giving Camden Head a taste of their Big Bingo Show!! (£5 for unlimited games) The hosts' banter and tomfoolery more than make up for the frankly crap prizes.

Wednesday's Zingers: If Kiki Kaboom were our history teacher, we would have probably paid more attention in class. Headed by legends Kaboom and (Jo) King plus popstrel Javine Hylton, the revolving cast of Burlexe (£20) mix theatre, music and sexy shimmies as they tell the tales of the women behind burlesque.

Bonkers Spaniard Salvador Dali is the inspiration behind Salvador And Amanda's Cirque Du Surrealism (£38 including five-course meal and drinks). There's living artwork courtesy of the Oozing Gloop, contortionist Rosie Cheeks as Gala and A Man To Pet as Amanda Lear.

There's a bill of superlative-though-sparse cabaret at Supperclub (£69.50-£252) headlined by the Paris-via-Vegas burlesque super-troupe Le Crazy Horse.

Thursday's Zingers: Be warned: professional iconoclast David Hoyle won't be taking prisoners (where would he keep them all?) as he continues his Lives series at the RVT. £10 gets you through the door and within range. Tonight's guests with one eye on the nearest emergency exit are Blanche Dubois and Lazlo Pearlman.

The inflated upside-down purple cow that is Udderbelly will be resonating to the sounds of Frisky and Mannish (£15.50) as they turn pop music inside out (no doubt to check the washing instructions).

Meanwhile, the black beast of Soho that is Madame Jojo's Bête Noire (£10) doesn't disappoint this week with a bill including Kiki Kaboom, Ophelia Bitz , Betsy Rose, John Drain and a rare headline act by vicked "Weimar wunderkind" Dusty Limits.

At the Off Broadway Bar deep in Hipsterville, E8, you can enjoy Words, Words, Words, a free night of comedy from the likes of Julie "Psycho" Jones, variety from the lovely lady with the ukelele Tricity Vogue and music from Caroline Grannell.

We Move From Time To Time at BGWMC is described as "a melancholic/ironic cabaret telling the story of the storyteller who was locked in perpetual longing." If you're pondering what that entails, a fiver will cure your curiousity.

Friday's Zingers: Something a bit different at the Barbican as they make way for the Mexican wrestling fiesta known as Lucha Future (standing £20, seated £30-£60). Fifteen strapping athletes with colourful names like Blue Demon Junior, Black Thunder and Mr Katana will be throwing each other around for only five performances over the weekend. We still miss Kendo Nagasaki.

It's your last&final chance to catch Yank&Cockney music&comedy mashup act Pistol & Jack at the Leicester Square Theatre previewing their show Smash*Glam*Sex*Music (£10). See them now before they go to Edinburgh, become famous overnight and leave you asking yourself where and when you heard the name before (clue: here).

La Rève (£8-£75) have a special line-up this week with Frisky & Mannish on MC duties plus prima ballerina Madame Galina, ace juggler Mat Ricardo, unicycle boylesk from Count Adriano Fettuccini, aerialist Bret Pfister, fusion belly dancer Leah Debrincat, burlesquer Millicent Binks and Craig the Incredible Hula Boy. I think we can hazard a guess at Craig's speciality.

Find fun and fundraising at Kentish Town's Crossroads Women's Centre (£10/£5) with a night of magic and burlesque.

Top wop popstrel Marcella Puppini and her Forget-Me-Nots bring their deliciously dark alt-cabaret songs to Bistrotheque tonight and tomorrow (£10/12).

Freakiest freakshow of the week purports be Club Antichrist's 7th Birthday Bash (£20). With a circus/cabaret theme, they promise to fill Club Colosseum with music from Mechanical Cabaret and Shanklin Freakshow plus sideshow shenanigans from sloppy burlesquer Marni Scarlet and Wunderkammer, an extreme performance troupe who'll be showing what they can do with broken glass, bowling balls and a bed of nails.

There's a tornado of tassel-twirling down at Madame Jojo's tonight as Burlesque Idol (from £10) sees Champagne Daisy, Ferri Maya, Verity Flare, Santine Di Mante and Kitty Le Murep fight for the audience's approval. The ticket includes a complimentary burlesque class before the show. If you want to take part in future shows, drop a line to tempest@houseofburlesque.co.uk.

Saturday's Zingers: This weekend sees the start of the month-long Duckie-powered Lullaby at the Barbican (£42 including breakfast). Bring PJs and a toothbrush (and a friend or two) for a night of soporific storytelling and song. Continues until 24 July.

US import The Flying Karamazov Brothers (£29.50-£39.50) will be donning kilts and juggling whatever the audience asks them to (terms and conditions apply). We saw them last week.

Her mum calls her Melissa Madden Gray but the world knows her as Meow Meow, the internationally renowned showgirl recently seen in Kneehigh Theatre's Umbrellas Of Cherbourg. You can see her making her solo West End debut at the Apollo Theatre (£15-£18).

NB She is not appearing at the Apollo Piccadilly Circus cinema as reported elsewhere).

Mystic omerta disappears in a puff of smoke for an evening as Steve Allen reveals some Magic Circle mysteries (£20-£25).

Sunday's Zingers: There's more Le Crazy Horse, more Karamazov Brothers and, just for this weekend, more Lucha Future and Lullaby. See above for details.

Zoe Charles' Cheek Of It! burlesque academy put on another showcase at Madame Jojo's (£8/£10). We spoke to Zoe Charles last month.

This week's video is Frisky and Mannish's Kate Bash. You can see the pop-revisionist duo at the Udderbelly on Thursday or La Reve on Friday. No prizes for guessing the influences behind this track.

Let us know in the comments if we've missed any great cabaret around town.

Last Updated 20 June 2011