Yes, yes, we know it's hot outside but make the most of July if you want to enjoy quality cabaret. Once the Edinburgh Fringe opens for business, you may have to make do with that jokebook you got for Christmas from your nan and re-runs of this year's Britain's Got Talent (especially the bits featuring ace hoopster Marawa and the really-rather-good hand-dancers Up & Over It). So, (wo)man up and get stuck into this week's Zingers.
Zinger Of The Week: Hagen & Chutzpah's Night of Stuff! @ Madame Jojo's, TONIGHT
Fresh from last week's Popstockings, clown-queen Audacity Chutzpah teams up with blonde Belgian and Hurly Burly Girl Laurie Hagen. Combining brains, beauty and no small amount of burlesque skills, these ladies are curating their own night of "stuff". But what does this mean? We have no idea but they had us at "burlesque roulette world premiere."
If that isn't enough (and it pretty much should be), after the show you can see (for an extra £2) surly sorcerer Piff The Magic Dragon (as seen on TV) previewing his Edinburgh Fringe act. All for the bargainous £5 in advance or £7 on the door.
Monday's Zingers: If you take it black and strong, you'll appreciate Aussie trio The Suitcase Royal's sense of humour. Their latest production The Ballad Of Backbone Joe comes across as Tom Waits multiplied by Nick Cave (which is definitely No Bad Thing). It was shown at Edinburgh Fringe last year and starts tonight at Soho Theatre until 16 July (£10 previews, after £15/£12.50).
Celebrate Independence Day with old school American juggling troupe, The Flying Karamazov Brothers. They don't fly, are definitely not Russian and they're not brothers but they are at the Vaudeville Theatre until September 10 (£29.50-£39.50). We liked.
Tuesday's Zingers: From the US state that gave us Starbucks and Nirvana, Electric Burlesque start their first UK residency at Brick Lane supperclub The Brickhouse (£10 standing, £35-£40 with food). Combining a brace each of burlesque and boylesque dancers, the high-concept show aims to challenge the audience. Expect werewolves and villains dissecting topics including HIV, hate crimes and oppression. The show runs until the end of the month every night excluding Mondays and Sundays.
Justin Vivian Bond, ex- of pop revisionists Kiki & Herb, will be crossing gender boundaries like a blind jaywalker in the new Soho Theatre Downstairs area. The show continues until 9 July (£12.50-£20).
Wednesday's Zingers: If you only have time to see one peculiar pair of erotic communists tonight, make it EastEnd Cabaret (free), m'kay?
The best bearded bingo caller in London has her own show at the RVT. Timberlina Cares (£5) has tales of tears and triumphs plus more twists than a Sixties nostalgia night.
Who needs friends to have a slumber party when you can just go to The Barbican’s Lullaby (£42)? Brought to you by the team behind the RVT institution Duckie, you can choose to choose to nod off alone, with someone else or have your own menage a trois. And, why not?
Thursday's Zingers: Artwank auteur Ophelia Bitz will not just be lowering the tone this time but the whole production when she takes her vintage porn show to The Old Vic Tunnels as part of the IdeasTap trio of evenings dedicated to new works. Tickets are free but you need to email firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the guestlist.
Pop revisionists Frisky & Mannish are at the Udderbelly (£15.50) turning your favourite hits inside out (no doubt to check the washing instructions) with their devilishly delectable duets. Go.
Climb aboard for Cheese ‘N’ Crackers on the Battersea Barge (£7). Unleash your inner
Cheryl ColeNicole Scherzinger as you try to spot The Next Big Thing amongst ten variety acts all competing for the coveted platter of eponymous edibles. Previous evenings have included music, magic, burlesque, cabaret, clowns, stand-up and possibly something to wash your dinner plates in.
Another Edinburgh preview, this time it's perma-smiling Aussie veteran Bob Downe with his new show 20 Golden Greats (£10) at the RVT. This time around, he has a simple formula: he throws out pop trivia questions and whoever gets the right answer walks away with a prize. Sounds fun to us. Let's hope it's, um, fourteenth time lucky for Bob in Edinburgh.
The twinkletoed Madame Gallina Ballet Star Galactica will be
leading a ragbag fugitive fleet as they search for Earth headlining her own variety night at Volupté. There's 30% off drinks from 5pm-6.30pm and tickets are £15 plus the price of one main course.
Friday's Zingers: If there's a better line-up in town tonight than at Cafe de Paris' La Rève then the organisers are keeping it very quiet. Host Dusty Limits, aerialist Bret Pfister, La Soiree's Mooky Cornish, the Ronseal of cabaret Craig The Incredible Hula Boy and (take a deep breath) blonde Belgian burlesque bombshell Laurie Hagen are just some of the highlights of this weekly funfest. We were there a couple of weeks ago and can't think of a better place to be this Friday. It's £12 for the show or £45 if you want to eat in.
The Pale Blue Door (£35) has washed off the mud and returns from its Glastonbury expedition more than happy to provide cabaret entertainment alongside a 4-course meal including beetroot, basil, beef and (half a) bottle of wine, all at a secret location in deepest, darkest
Janie Dee will be belting out cabaret numbers from Gershwin to Milligan while the audience munches on smallish pizzas underground at The Pheasantry (£20, smallish pizza not included).
Saturday's Zingers: The ever-effervescent Duckie at RVT (£6) will again be hosted by the Madam-Mayoress-of-Camden-and-Plus-Size-Diva Amy Lamé with DJs Readers Wifes and The Cloths on door-whore duties. This week’s instalment features Earl Gray, Timberlina and Phillip Normal.
There's a double-bill of bizarreness over at Jackson's Lane (£10) as part of the Postcards series of experimental cabaret. Bryony Kimmings explored her sexual history at the Soho Theatre earlier this year; in her latest show 7 Day Drunk, she scientifically describes the effects of spending a week on the sauce. Meanwhile, 10 Ways To Die On Stage is Edward Rapley's story of childhood mishaps and adult losses told through dance, live art and clowning.
Don't tell anyone but the Magic Circle is letting people in on its secrets. It's Season of Summer Sorcery (£15) tonight invites Fay Presto, Piff The Magic Dragon and John van der Put to reveal all...
Sunday's Zingers: The immensely talented Sarah-Louise Young brings the latest edition of Cabaret Whore, the show too rude to name on BBC Radio, to Udderbelly (£15.50). Her musical character comedy is peerless in the modern cabaret scene and it's no great wonder that she has been chosen to be part of Fascinating Aida's next tour.
And if you're wondering who Fascinating Aida are, watch this YouTube smash hit and wonder no more...