Cabaret Preview: The Winter Of Our Discontent @ Arcola Tent

Franco Milazzo
By Franco Milazzo Last edited 150 months ago

Last Updated 11 January 2012

Cabaret Preview: The Winter Of Our Discontent @ Arcola Tent

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious by Dusty Limits, infamous cabaret bard and compere.

Ok, so Richard III may not have used those exact words but he may have done if he had seen the bill for Limits' upcoming series of shows at Dalston's Arcola Tent. The Brisbane-born entertainer, renowned for his pithy put-downs and a voice which can span three-and-a-half octaves, has gathered the great and good of London's cabaret scene for The Winter Of Our Discontent, three nights of variety performances covering comedy, dance, drag, burlesque and circus. The all-killer no-filler double-figure line-up has more big names than a large print Who's Who and includes Londonist favourites EastEnd Cabaret, David Hoyle, Myra Dubois, Kiki Kaboom and Tricity Vogue.

We somehow got a word in sideways with Limits and asked him some pertinent questions.

What's behind the title? Is it just a play on words or will the show play off the title?

The title popped into my head when I was chatting with the Arcola folks about a possible project. I realised how tough winter would be for the many victims of the Coalition's 'austerity measures', and how likely it was we'd have a second, albeit different, winter of discontent. I think it also had something to do with the fact that the show is taking place in a tent - a disco-tent. The brief for performers was not specifically political - just 'what's pissing you off at the moment?'

When it comes to London, what are you personally discontented about at the moment?

Where do I begin? The London that adopted me 12 years ago, the London I love, seems to be disappearing. I know it was always built on air and wishful-thinking (a.k.a. the 'financial services industry', or 'The Empire of New Clothes' as I like to call it), but it's still shocking. The city is becoming a colder,crueller place to live in. The other thing that drives me absolutely nuts is the proliferation of posh cupcake shops. They're vile.

There's quite an array of talent you have there. How long have you been planning this show?

Honest answer? I had coffee with the lovely team from Arcola in early December, the idea popped into my head. I emailed just over two dozen artists I know, hoping that 50% of them would say 'yes', which would give me enough cast for 2 shows. Almost everyone said yes - 22 performers. I panicked. I think everyone responded to the brief.

Other than going to the Arcola Tent next week, which activity in London would you recommend to the good folk of London looking to dispel the January blues?
Vigorous exercise. Artistically? Go see some live music. Support live entertainment. Go to the British Museum (it's free, for now), and realise that it's all happened before. We'll survive.

All the information you need on who is appearing when plus ticket prices can be found here. Off you go.

For the hottest cabaret recommendations in London, check out our cabaret section.