This week saw the relaunch of Proud Cabaret Camden.
The venue is part of the Proud empire owned by Alex Proud. While Mr Proud made his fortunes from dealing in Japanese art and selling Rolls Royces to the Russians, the venue itself has enjoyed mixed fortunes. DECADES, the venue's chief attraction last year, showcased many fine performers but was singled out and savaged by Time Out's Cabaret Editor as the worst of 2011: "the show's spine — a series of decade-themed dance-burlesque numbers — failed to convince either as sauce or as anything but the glibbest period engagement...Tits ’n’ teeth only get you so far."
The new show again is not short on great talent. There is a heavy emphasis on burlesque but, unlike another current show, the all-female line-up was far more diverse on press night with fan dancer Banbury Cross, the latex-loving Marnie Scarlet and the globetrotting burlesquer-cum-aerialist Empress Stah. This was especially impressive considering that most of the capital's top cabaret talent were at the inaugural industry awards. For sure, the bill would have benefitted from a great variety of acts, especially as it hard to imagine performers of this calibre turning up for every show, but it is hard to fault the talent on display for opening night.
The food itself was noteworthy with diners able to choose from five choices for each of the three courses. What we tasted was above par for supperclubs and competed with the entertainment for effort. Drink prices too were surprisingly reasonable with a gin and tonic costing £3.80. The in-the-round setup meant that most punters had a clear view albeit occasionally obscured by latecomers.
If this relaunch is anything to go by, Proud Cabaret Camden have put together the best regular burlesque supperclub experience in town. Go.
Londonist attended at the invite of Proud Cabaret Camden. For more information, see the official site.
For more cabaret recommendations, check out our weekly roundup.
All photographs (c) Guilherme Zühlke O’Connor