NIGHTLIFE

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

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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!’

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