Saturday 19 October 2013

Cabaret Roulette's Ghost Stories at Madame Jojo's - Soho, London - October 2013


Created and produced by Vivacity Bliss, Cabaret Roulette is a burlesque show where all is a gamble. A new concept from the imagination of Vivacity, and born to bring you a flavour of the unexpected.

How does it work?

The public suggests various themes for future shows, on Cabaret Roulette's Facebook page. Then, on the night of a show, the audience chooses one theme among the most popular suggestions. The performers, who accept the challenge, have only a few weeks after the vote, to create their act.

If you remember some of the 1990s shows, where stand up comedians had to come up with witty lines from ideas thrown by the public, then you will appreciate how fast-working and imaginative these performers must be, in order to bring the audience a magnificent show.

Tonight's theme was Ghost Stories, maybe anticipating Halloween.

At the door, the Bloody Irish Catholic nun was ready to welcome you with her ghostly complexion. Putting the public in the mood for tonight's show, crazy Sister Euphemia (aka Ruth Young) was spookily friendly.

Lady Boudoir, the compère for the night, transpired to be quite a rebel in her own way. Whether she was in character, or just improvising, her language was more than ghostly…!

However, the performances made up for any small mishap. First on stage, Stage Door Johnny, a musical comedian, reminded me of Peter Kay's humour. The Northern wit and warmth took the whole room into a frenzy of laughter, again and again. Portraying a psychic medium, possessed by a spirit, he lost himself into a dancing act. Absolutely brilliant and hilarious…!

Ghost stories was the theme, and every performer had committed to it, so when magicians and comedians, Griffin & Jones, came on stage, curiosity struck as to how they would portray a ghost story. After choosing a woman from the audience, and asking her to pick a story from a book, Jones had to guess which one she had chosen.  After enduring sticky tape over his mouth, and being possessed by a spirit, Jones finally produced out of his mouth, the page the spectator had chosen at the beginning. A wonderful magic trick that brought the whole room in unison when exclaiming a loud "Wow…!".

When Anna Lou appeared with her accordion, nobody expected such a grand act with dry humour. Parisian chanteuse performing her ghost story comedy song 'Sleeping time sex-ghost' was a true jewel…! Anna Lou oozes talent, confidence incorporating banter, and perfectly done saucy bawdy humour…! Hip hip hooray for Anna Lou who received a standing ovation, as the whole crowd cheered frantically.

For a dancing troupe, maybe the challenge was a bit trickier, but Figs in Wigs astonished us when they choreographed 'Ghostbusters'. A bit cliché, you might think, but they were visually greatly entertaining, and judging by the ongoing applause, the audience enjoyed their performance considerably.

But nothing topped the Shirley Windmill act 'Funny bones', which, for me, was just fantastic! Shirley, in her skeleton onesie, rapped a ghost story that took the whole audience into a frenzy of delight, with laughter, hysteria and cheers. Her face expression and body language made the whole act the most original of the night! With her: 'Dark, dark cellar, in a dark, dark house, in a dark, dark street" she charmed and wowed the whole audience. Magical, Miss Shirley Windmill…!!

Tonight's show was filled with creative talent and was a massive success. It brought a variety of acts together under one theme, under the watchful critical eye of an audience, who seemed in awe of all the performers. Considering that many come back frequently, the gamble has paid off, Miss Vivacity Bliss…!!

If you want burlesque cabaret with a twist and tales of the unexpected, then Cabaret Roulette is the one…!
November 13th is their 1st Birthday party, a perfect reason to attend. After a two months' break, Cabaret Roulette will return in February with a 'Science' theme, then March will be 'Celebrities'. Choose one or all of them. Gamble your night away! You won't regret it…!!

Eva Lamour

Photography by: James Drury

Constance Peach and Lady Boudoir

Stage Door Johnny

Griffin and Jones

Griffin and Jones - with spectator

Chilli Blush

Anna Lou

Figs in Wigs

Shirley Windmill

Johnny Macaulay

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