Fancy a night on the town where all the rules are broken? Then watch one of the capital’s cabaret shows, where glitz and glamour are the leading stars, says Sam Rogg
Life is a cabaret! Visit London Cabaret Club’s Best of British Pop, which celebrates musicians including The Beatles, David Bowie and Adele.
What is cabaret? Despite its growing popularity in London, it’s a difficult thing to define – part comedy, part dance show, with a bit of theatre, circus and burlesque thrown in. In cabaret, there are no rules as anything goes. And whether you’re looking for a traditional dinner-and-show formula or something more unusual, London has it all! Taking over the beautiful 1920s Bloomsbury Ballroom in central London, The London
Cabaret Club’s BestofBritishPop (above and inset) is a classic feel-good cabaret night with a somewhat cheesy edge (it is pop, after all). Trace Britain’s incredible contribution to popular music in an all-singing, all-dancing odyssey from the Sixties up to the present day. Iconic pop anthems are in there from The Beatles, David Bowie, Rolling Stones, Amy Winehouse, the Spice Girls and Adele.
The dance routines are flawlessly and rapidly delivered in a kaleidoscope of genres, from street dance and classical ballet to spectacular acrobatics. There’s even a cameo by a dog who looks just like Paul McCartney’s beloved sheepdog, Martha. If you’re feeling peckish, opt for the three-course dinner option (a simple but satisfying offering), and after the show, the dance floor opens up to guests until 3am ( from £35; Fri-Sat; Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, WC1B 4DA).
Over in Soho, you can enjoy a smorgasbord of shows inside a grand Parisian-style venue.
LiveatZédel at Brasserie Zédel (p. 58) is a programme of entertainment running until Christmas, featuring live music, theatre, comedy, spoken word and, of course, cabaret, all staged inside Zédel’s dramatic Art Deco brasserie and neighbouring bar, Crazy Coqs. Hear Beatles songs like never before with Barb
Jungr & John McDaniel (20 Nov), two giants of cabaret from both sides of the Atlantic. Enter the House of Q (23 Nov) for an awardwinning night of magic, burlesque, music, mime and more. And don’t even think about standing up Miss Hope Springs (24 Nov) in her five-star self-penned repertoire of hysterical stories. Described as a ‘theatre of varieties’, The Box
Soho (like its New York sister club) is not for the faint-hearted. Spanning 7,000sqft and favoured by celebrities and royals for its decadent, risqué shows, tables come with a hefty minimum spend – anything from £750 to £1,500. There’s a strict no phones or cameras policy so what happens in The Box stays in The Box ( 11-12 Walker’s Court, W1F 0SD). As Liza Minnelli said: ‘Come hear the music play! Life is a cabaret, old chum!’