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Stepping Out In The New Look London Wonderground

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London Wonderground, the South Bank’s alternative jewel in its culture crown, is bigger and better. No longer taken over by a giant purple cow (the Udderbelly Festival), the full site comes complete with fairground rides and two new bars to compliment its jam-packed schedule of  cabaret, circus and burlesque. Never tired of hearing the phrase “two new bars”, our reporter Laura Cress went to check it out and took pictures along the way so that we had some memory of what a 2016 summer looked like.

Copyright: Laura Cress
Summer and the South Bank go together like Boris Johnson and epic blunders, and with the Udderbelly tent flying North to Edinburgh, the London Wonderground has even more outdoor space to keep its patrons happy.

 

Copyright: Laura Cress
It’s great to have even more space in the centre of London dedicated solely to alternative productions such as “Barbu”, “Briefs” and “Finger in the Pie’s Wunderfinger”. There’s also room for a three storey “Grand Saloon” bar – fitting, as by the time last orders are called there’s several people who start to walk, or stagger, like John Wayne.

 

Copyright: Laura Cress
The Star Flyer ride – one of Wonderground’s fairground attractions which lifts its passengers 65ft in the air – had a bit of hiccup over the weekend. Nevertheless, its offer of a scenic view of the South Bank, The Thames and much of London is a welcome addition to the area’s carnival atmosphere of merriment and brouhaha.

 

Copyright: Laura Cress
As with other years, whilst shows at the Wonderground are ticketed, there is free entry into the festival area to have a drink or eat a variety of street food. Whilst other areas such as Pop Brixton and BoxPark in Shoreditch have championed the outdoor street food pop up in recent years, there’s still nothing quite like sitting in the shadow of the London Eye on the banks of the Thames in the (almost) summer sun.

 

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Naturally where performances are concerned the star of the site is still the magnificent Paradiso Spiegeltent. Not unlike those originally built in Belgium in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, this circular tent (of which the roof of can be spied here) provides a perfect backdrop to watch Canadian circus troupe Cirque Alfonse perform Barbu with their seriously edge-of-the-seat brand of acrobatics and just a hint of naughtiness!

 

Copyright: Laura Cress
With the entertainment over, it’s time to step out into the night to the Spiegeltent’s adjoining bar, where the party is only just beginning. London Wonderground will be running until 25 September this year, but with another impressive lineup of acts taking to the stage in this bustling, beautiful venue, even this lengthy season won’t seem like long enough.

 

More information on London Wonderground can be found on their official website

Cirque Alfonse’s Barbu will be playing until 25 September. Tickets are from £31 and include a complimentary programme. More information on that show can be found on the London Wonderground website.

 


In Pictures: The Double R Club’s Miss Twin Peaks 2015

Vivid Angel. Image: Juliet ShalamRead more

Award winning Lynchian dark art cabaret, The Double R Club, returned for it’s sixth annual Miss Twin Peaks contest last month, led by the “so fucking suave” host Benjamin Louche. With eight performers and a fancy dress contest, the night was never going to be short on entertainment. And what a bevy of contestants all vying to catch the eyes of four judges including Dusty Limits and Meth!

Ragina, a trained ballet dancer, performs the dance of the broken-hearted, en pointe, while slowly asphyxiating. It’s a pitch-black start to what promises to be a dark and challenging show.

Carmen Mon Oxide pulls out all the stops referencing the Lynchian world at her every turn. Her operatic rendition of Eye of the Tiger climaxes with an impressive display of titillating tassel tricks.

Rhyannon Styles mixes mime and lip syncing to a cover version of David Bowie’s Rock n Roll Suicide to great effect, turning an overcoat into a lonely fantasy.

Tom Harlow gives a haunting performance in which he embodies the essence of Marilyn Monroe. In a slow strip carried by his presence, he shines.

Vivid Angel brings the dark energy! Lucifer has fallen and this act sees a triumphant celebration of all things occult, ending in a surprise twist of lighting, which is nice as it is so unexpected.

Havana Hurricane executes a classic, pretty burlesque dance. It has a dash of melancholy to sweeten it’s slow reveal.

Sarah-Louise Young goes back to the womb to give birth to a surreal routine. Backed up by excited spermatozoa, she cavorts as an egg before unleashing her song Please Don’t Hand Me You’re Baby. A deserving second place.

Laura Moody is last but no means least. Her bizarre experimentation with vocals and cello are an animalistic experience quite nothing else on the cabaret scene. The standing ovation is appropriate and the performance sees her crowned Miss Twin Peaks.

The eventual winners were:

(drum roll, please)

Miss Ghostwood (third prize): Rhyannon Styles

Miss Sparkwood (second prize): Sarah-Louise Young

Miss Twin Peaks (first prize): Laura Moody 

 

This year’s Miss Twin Peaks once again was a festival of the macabre, the weird and the menacing.. It was a real pleasure as a show and stands as a worthy testament to the creative juices flowing in the London cabaret scene. Till next year!

The Double R Club can next be seen taking over the London Wonderground on 1 August before returning to the Bethnal Green Working Mens Club for another season of shows there. Catch up with the latest Double R Club devilry via Facebook or Twitter.

All images: Juliet Shalam

In Pictures: The Black Cap Protest

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is CabaretRead more

Last Sunday, the Black Cap’s owners tried to wash away decades of gay history overnight. Despite the Camden pub being declared an Asset Community of Value by the local authorities only days previously, Faucet Inn shuttered the Camden pub with very little in the way of notice.

A protest was organised soon after by Spike Rhodes, producer of the celebrated drag theatre company The Drama Queens. Flying under the title of We Are The Black Cap (hashtag #WeAreTheBlackCap), it drew out over a hundred people from across the LGBT and cabaret community.

Titti La Camp wielded the microphone and held sway as a number of parties gave speeches. Jane Clendon from the Joiners Lives On campaign and Ben Walters on behalf of the RVT Future project spoke about their respective projects. Meth and Joe Parslow, co-producers of the popular Cap show The Meth Lab, were there as were a number of the Cap’s last panto crew the Familyyy Fierce including Lilly Snapdragon, Ruby Wednesday, Scarlett O’Hora and Lolo Brow. Virgin Xtravaganzah whose show was the last staged at the venue held aloft a defiant banner stating “God Bless The Black Cap”. DJ Slim Chance, dark burlesquer Mynxie Monroe and veteran drag artiste Mrs Moore were all there too.

 

Legends of The Black Cap seen in the window. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
Legends of The Black Cap seen in the window. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

 

The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015 Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret
The Black Cap Protest 18 April 2015. Image: Franco Milazzo for This Is Cabaret

All images: Franco Milazzo exclusively for This Is Cabaret

In Pictures: The Madame Jojo’s Protest March

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If there is a silver lining to the demise of Madame Jojo’s, it is that it managed to bring the cabaret community together – and well before gin o’clock.

A violent incident involving the club’s security staff just over a month ago led to the suspension of its premises licence subject to review. Acting on submissions from, amongst others, the police and club owners Soho Estates, Westminster Council denied the appeal. In effect, this kills Madame Jojo’s stone dead, ending the venue’s existence after over half a century.

The cabaret community’s reaction has seen it set up a petition which currently stands at over seven thousand signatures and a protest march-cum-vigil which took place earlier today (more about which below these pictures).

madame jojos 18 madame jojos 19 madame jojos 20 madame jojos 21 madame jojos 2 madame jojos 3 madame jojos 4 madame jojos 5 madame jojos 6 madame jojos 8 madame jojos 9 madame jojos 10 madame jojos 11 madame jojos 12 madame jojos 13 madame jojos 14 madame jojos 15

Starting out in Soho Square, the protesters carried a coffin and signs reading “Save Our Soho” down Greek Street to the offices of Soho Estates. Quite what role its advice played at the appeal is unknown but the closure of Madame Jojo’s has led to unprecedented bad publicity for the firm with many looking with renewed vigour into its plans for the gentrification of the Brewer Street/Walker’s Court area.

The parade then set off for Madame Jojo’s, wending its way through Soho. The coffin was carried aloft by pallbearers The Double R Club’s host Benjamin Louche, circus performer and producer Ed Gosling, Madame Jojo’s light and sound technician Andy Louder and Luscious Cabaret co-producer James Lee. The procession was led by, amongst others, Finger In The Pie producer Alexander Parsonage, performer Abigail O’Neill, The Correspondents’ Mr Bruce and the Soho Hobo Tim Arnold.

A multitude of the London cabaret scene’s most prominent figures came to pay their respects. The broad spectrum of performers defied those who label cabaret as some kind of “niche”. Burlesquers jostled with contortionists and fire breathers while musical comedy folk chatted to jugglers and drag queens. Promoters, producers and industry press were there too as were a plethora of photographers.

Superfans Simon Reeves and Bryanne McIntosh have followed the scene for decades; the latter was there at the preview openings for Madame Jojo’s and attended a dinner party held by the eponymous lady. Howard Raymond, the son of the “King Of Soho” and original Madame Jojo’s owner Paul Raymond, was there too. When his father died, he received nothing from the will – the £650m Raymond estate instead went to Howard’s nieces Fawn and India James.

Quite what this all means for Soho and the cabaret community in the long term is unknown but this much is sure: neither will ever be the same again.

All pictures (c) Franco Milazzo

So What Does A Surrealist Dinner Party Actually Look Like?

Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo ProductionsRead more

Did you ever want to dally like Dali at a dinner party? For those who missed out on the infamous 1972 surrealist soirées or Lemonade and Laughing Gas’ more recent version, here is the inside view on the latter.

Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions

Last month, Lemonade and Laughing Gas held a short series of surrealist dinner parties inspired by Baroness Marie-Hélène Rothschild infamous 1972 “Diner de Têtes Surrealiste“. Those lucky enough to get an invite to the latter joined the crème de la crème of Parisian high society at her mansion to rub shoulders with Salvador Dali, Audrey Hepburn and Richard Burton and witnessed quite the spectacle.

The Baroness’ guests were asked to come in black tie & long dresses with surrealist heads. The chateau was floodlit with moving orange lights to give the impression that it was on fire. Inside, the staircase was lined by footmen dressed as cats that appeared to have fallen asleep in a variety of staged poses. Guests had to pass through a kind of labyrinth of hell, made of black ribbons to look like cobwebs. the occasional cat appeared to rescue the guests & lead them to the tapestry salon. Here they were greeted by guy with a hat to resemble a still-life on a platter and by the Baroness herself wearing the head of a giant stag weeping tears made of diamonds.

Lemonade & Laughing Gas’ modern version saw the eating part of the evening become an art installation crossed with an experimental buffet: part sit down dinner, part eating journey based on a menu imagined by Moro head chef Flo Hillier, and inspired by the 1972 menu’s oddities such as “Chevres hurlant de Tristesse” (roughly translated as “cheese of goat screaming in post-coital sadness”). Attention was also paid to the liquid refreshment with mixologist and regular collaborator Alex Orwin designing special cocktails and expertly paired drinks.

Their next events are planned for around Christmas. Check out their website for the latest details.

All images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions

Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions
Surrealist Dinner Party by Lemonade & Laughing Gas. Images: Toby McKay of Boogaloo Productions

Inside The Black Lodge: New Book Reveals The Double R Club’s Heart Of Darkness

Dickie Beau, "It's far, far away - behind the moon, beyond the rain." Image: Gh0stdotRead more

To celebrate the Double R Club’s fifth birthday this Thursday, co-producers Benjamin Louche and Rose Thorne have shared some of their favourite images from photo book The Black Lodge, compiled by a mysterious regular patron of the Double R, known only as Gh0stdot.

Gh0stdot’s pictures are less a mere punter’s record of the night than they are captured hallucinations, trapped fever dreams that resonate strangely with all who behold them. Copies of the book are available to purchase here.


Benjamin Louche, "The man from another place". Image: Gh0stdot
Benjamin Louche in “The man from another place”. Image: Gh0stdot

Louche: I love this shot -maybe because it almost feels like it isn’t me. There’s something here I’m not entirely in control of, something heightened and oddly frenzied, it really captures a moment. It was taken during my second act of the night, which I almost always perform lit only by two out of synch strobe lights, and as such it’s nearly impossible to photograph successfully.

Rose: How on earth did your knee get into this shot?!

 


Blanche Dubois, "I feel like I'm going to dream tonight. Big bad ones." Image:  Gh0stdot
Blanche Dubois, “I feel like I’m going to dream tonight. Big bad ones.” Image: Gh0stdot

Rose: What I like about this photo is how clearly the dead prom queen is brought back to life by Blanche. The sadness of death is evident, and yet she’s still wearing the crown that got her so much superficial attention in life; there’s something deeply tragic about this. Blanche truly “gets” us, and this act, which won her a crown at the first ever Miss Twin Peaks pageant, captures it all.

 


Emerald Fontaine, "I too have been touched by the devilish one." Image:  Gh0stdot
Emerald Fontaine, “I too have been touched by the devilish one.” Image: Gh0stdot

Rose: This photo is a smack in the face to those that call the Lynchian aesthetic misogynistic. The ultimate bad girl, in charge and taking no shit.

Louche: Red has always been my favourite colour. Hot girl with a knife. What’s not to like?

 


Dickie Beau, "It's far, far away - behind the moon, beyond the rain." Image:  Gh0stdot
Dickie Beau, “It’s far, far away – behind the moon, beyond the rain.” Image: Gh0stdot

Louche: Watching this act is like experiencing magic. It’s true theatre. What Dickie does is impossible, he makes you laugh, then he tears out your heart. This shot has caught something very vulnerable and gut-wrenching, yet simultaneously dreamlike.

Rose: This act always breaks my heart.

 


Heavy Metal Pete, "Sometimes my anger at the fire is evident"  Image:  Gh0stdot
Heavy Metal Pete, “Sometimes my anger at the fire is evident” Image: Gh0stdot

Louche: There’s a nightmarish coldness to this shot that really suits the character of BOB; a terrible fury trapped in a dark place and itching for escape. The frankly insane look in Pete’s eyes, highlighted with reflections of the fire he’s holding, only magnifies the whole effect.

Rose: The first time I saw this act I was truly terrified. Suddenly BOB, who’d been in my head for 20 years, was real. Terrifying.

 


Sabrina Sweepstakes, "Stand alone and do your dance" Image: Gh0stdot
Sabrina Sweepstakes, “Stand alone and do your dance” Image: Gh0stdot

Louche: The colouring of this shot only emphasises the unreal nature of the act, the way the light picks out Sabrina’s twisted musculature, the way the clay on her face looks like stone, or part of an ancient tree, is genuinely alarming. A beautiful monstrosity. A real standout act from the Double R’s past and this photo is a stunning record of it.

 


Snake Fervor, "Steal the light that runs the engine of my heart" Image: Gh0stdot
Snake Fervor, “Steal the light that runs the engine of my heart” Image: Gh0stdot

Louche: Snake doesn’t look human in this shot; or perhaps like something that has just taken human form and isn’t yet used to it. I love her right hand, in silhouette, there’s both a splayed awkwardness about it but also something graceful and choreographic.

 


Marnie Scarlet, "The night belle with lightning" Image: Gh0stdot
Marnie Scarlet, “The night belle with lightning” Image: Gh0stdot

Rose: Marnie Scarlet, what can we say? In almost all her acts there is a moment where the audience has no idea what they are looking at. I love how Gh0stdot has captured the movement of the wings while the face remains still; this mythical creature, perhaps the last of her kind, but mystery lies beneath, as it does beneath all of us…

 


Benjamin Louche, "Straddle the line in discord and rhyme"  Image: Gh0stdot
Benjamin Louche, “Straddle the line in discord and rhyme” Image: Gh0stdot

Rose: This is one of my favourite photos of Louche, he’s reaching out of the frame to rip out your heart. I was so glad to be able to use this as one of our Wonderground posters. It screams “I am Louche and I’m coming to get you!”

Louche: Great shot. Also, the fact that the title is a lyric from Hungry Like The Wolf by Duran Duran really makes me laugh.

Rose: I also like that you can see the bandage on your hand…nobody has ever asked about that bandage…

 

The Double R Club’s 5th Birthday is Thursday 18th September, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. Tickets are available online.

In Pictures: Boom & Bang Go Big At The Roundhouse

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Hands down one of the best variety nights in town, Boom & Bang Circus have been entertaining the denizens of the Hippodrome Casino for quite some time now. The show has been on the road before but their most recent event was something of a spectacular, even for them. 

Boom & Bang co-producer Kitty Bang Bang rides into action at the Roundhouse
Boom & Bang co-producer Kitty Bang Bang rides into action at the Roundhouse

 

The Roundhouse’s Summer Sessions has seen the Camden venue host an eclectic mix of live music, comedy, dance, spoken word, live cinema and more. Last Friday, the venue was given over to Boom & Bang Circus for one of their biggest shows to date. The troupe are rarely seen outside the Hippodrome Casino’s Matcham Room so this gig was a fine opportunity for them to display just why they are one of the finest bunch of vaudevillians around.

 

Boom & Bang host and alt-drag legend Jonny Woo
Boom & Bang host and alt-drag legend Jonny Woo
Handbalancer Valerie Murzak, a guest performer at Boom & Bang's Roundhouse show
Handbalancer Valerie Murzak, a guest performer at Boom & Bang’s Roundhouse show
Is there a finer ballerina than Boom & Bang regular Madame Galina? If there is, we wouldn't advise telling her.
Is there a finer ballerina than Boom & Bang regular Madame Galina? If there is, we wouldn’t advise telling her.
Up, up and away: Katharine Arnold is an aerial marvel and mistress of the silks.
Up, up and away: Katharine Arnold is an aerial marvel and mistress of the silks.
A core element of Boom & Bang since the beginning, Dott Cotton has become one of London's premiere clowns.
A core element of Boom & Bang since the beginning, Dott Cotton has become one of London’s premiere clowns.
Both Kitty Bang Bang and her co-producer husband Bioux Le Hayes performed at the Roundhouse.
Both Kitty Bang Bang and her co-producer husband Bioux Le Hayes performed at the Roundhouse.
When not speeding along on full-size versions offstage, Kitty Bang Bang has used this mini motorcycle on stage here and at the London Wonderground.
When not speeding along on full-size versions offstage, Kitty Bang Bang has used this mini motorcycle on stage here and at the London Wonderground.
Starting from the back of the auditorium, Jo Moss in twisted Pierrot mode worked his way through the crowd to the stage.
Starting from the back of the auditorium, Jo Moss in twisted Pierrot mode worked his way through the crowd to the stage.
Once on stage, Jo Moss spun within his cyr wheel to the crowd's amazement and delight.
Once on stage, Jo Moss spun within his cyr wheel to the crowd’s amazement and delight.
Kitty Bang Bang's flaming nipple tassels are a signature motif of her spectacular burlesque routines.
Kitty Bang Bang’s flaming nipple tassels are a signature motif of her spectacular burlesque routines.

More information on Boom & Bang Circus can be found on their official website.

All images: Peeping Tallulah

In Pictures: The 3 Serpent Circus

3 Serpent Circus co-producers Mark Charade and Aurora GaloreRead more
3 Serpent Circus co-producers Markabre Charade and Aurora Galore
3 Serpent Circus co-producers Mark Charade and Aurora Galore

Last month saw the launch of new night 3 Serpent Circus in Brick Lane’s Vibe Bar. This dark gem of a show is the creation of Galorious Charade, a collaboration between burlesquer Aurora Galore and Roustabouts DJ Mark Charade.

The main stage saw a top drawer collection of some of the best alternative performers around including juggler Florian Brooks, sideshow artiste Lydia Darling, hula hooper Storm Hooper and avant garde fetish diva Marnie Scarlet ,all overseen by the filthier-than-thou Ophelia Bitz. Rounding out the experience, clown Dott Cotton helped out with the raffle and bearded lady Rubyyy Jones was on hand to peer into the future through her tarot cards.

For news of  where the 3 Serpent Circus strikes next, watch this space.

So What Does London Wonderground’s Limbo Actually Look Like?

Limbo (c) Lisa ThomsonRead more

It’s all well and good reading all those circus reviews (especially those written by people more familiar with comedy, theatre or anything apart from, you know, circus) but sometimes the only real way to explain what a show is about is through the medium of photography.

Without a doubt, the biggest circus show to hit London this summer will be Limbo. The hit headliner of the 2013 London Wonderground programme, this magnificent blend of music, illusion and eye-opening big-top action returns to the South Bank venue for another run from May to August. Limbo does not officially open until this Thursday but, before then, cast an eye over these exclusive pictures and start savouring what is to come.

These picture were taken exclusively for This Is Cabaret and remain copyright of PUMP Photography and Lisa Thomson as marked. Please do not use these pictures for commercial purposes without their permission. 

Curious about what else is coming to London Wonderground this year? Step this way for our ultimate guide to the London’s biggest cabaret festival.

Limbo opens this Thursday and runs through until 17 August. Ticket availability and venue information on Limbo can be found on the official London Wonderground website.

In Pictures: Alternative Eurovision 2014

Four Femmes On The Thames (c) Guilherme Zuhlke O'ConnorRead more

IMG_7872

Has it really been four years since the first Alternative Eurovision? On Friday, its latest outing launched this season’s London Wonderground with a mixed bag of musical shenanigans taking in comedy, burlesque, drag and some audience participation.

Taking as its inspiration the events in Copenhagen the following night, Anna Greenwood helmed a night which was a veritable kaleidoscope of outfits including pensioner Ida Barr’s hip-hop dress, Georgois Bourgeois’ Putin-inspired onesie and the burkha and military uniform displayed during Des O’Connor’s number.

This was the full line-up of Alternative Eurovision 2014:

  • Anna Greenwood (host)
  • Sofie Hagen
  • Benjamin Louche
  • Bourgeois and Maurice (winners)
  • Des O’Connor
  • Dusty Limits
  • Four Femmes on the Thames
  • Flange Krammer
  • Ida Barr
  • Lili La Scala
  • Roulston & Young
  • Tempest Rose

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All pictures: Guilherme Zuhlke O’Connor exclusively for This Is Cabaret