Reviews

Review: Friday Night Filth, Underbelly Festival

Now this is a rarity: a variety night with stand-up comics as a regular part of the bill. And that’s comics plural as regular Underbelly Festival event Friday Night Filth takes not one but two comedians away from their usual microphone stands and puts them in a tent alongside some fine cabaret stars.

I don’t have anything against individual stand-up comics per se but too many these days are pushing out tired and mentally undemanding material. From the lazy crowd control (“give me a roar if you’ve breathed in and out today!”, “is anyone in the audience from the town I’m in right now?”, “who here likes chocolate?” etc etc) to the painfully obvious observations (“everyone in Edinburgh sounds like someone out of Trainspotting!”) and the tedious tales (“today I went down to the Post Office and they tried to sell me some stamps – the cheeky bastards! What’s that all about, eh?” etc etc), their success seems to rely more on their personality and how pissed the punters are than actual talent or material.

The stand-ups on opening night (Chris Betts and Bobby Mair) are not the finest examples of their genre but, appearing as they do quite a few hours after gin o’clock, they give a presumably well-lubed audience a few chuckles and not much else.

Host Dusty Limits is happily still alive and kicking having been around the London cabaret circuit since Jesus was in shorts. The Australian’s vocal talent is phenomenal, apparently reaching three-and-a-half octaves at full stretch, and he still knows how to expertly work a crowd with equal parts insouciance and charm.

His banter, though, has become stale and has barely changed since he ruled the Café de Paris all those years ago; even if he was laid flat on a pub table with drinks placed on him, in this respect he wouldn’t be more of a coaster. Thankfully, his voice is still as fine as it ever was and his neo-Weimarean shtick remains lively and funny. Well, funnier than Messrs Betts and Mair.

The Ruby Darlings are the fast-rising up-and-comers of the musical comedy scene. Anyone who says that women are in any way inferior to men when it comes to comedy should be strapped to a seat and made to watch Lily Phillips as, with the backing of pianist and co-vocalist David Tims, she pounds out hilarious, provocative and unashamedly feminist anthems about self-pleasuring, pubic hair and anal sex. Those who remember and enjoyed vintage EastEnd Cabaret will love what they hear here.

Rounding off the bill is the thinking woman’s burlesque dancer, Lolo Brow. Renowned for her award-winning Lizard act, her recent routines have focused on gaslighting and gender identity. For this night, however, she returned to an older award-winning act, a delightfully debauched take on the ultimate kitchen saucepot Nigella Lawson.

For filthseekers everywhere looking for the way to shed the work week and move casually into the weekend proper, this night is the perfect way to do so.

Friday Night Filth comes back to the Underbelly Festival on 2 June and runs until 30 June with new line-ups every time. Check out the Underbelly Festival website for more details.

Dusty Limits returns to the London Underbelly with his show Mandrogyny on 20 September.

The Ruby Darlings have a regular residency at Moors Bar. See their Facebook page for more information.

Lolo Brow will be part of House Of Burlesque 2.0 at Underbelly Festival and also hosts LADS, an all-female burlesque/cabaret night at Her Upstairs.

More information on all Underbelly Festival shows can be found here.


Review: Casus’ Driftwood, Underbelly Festival

Australian circus troupe Casus return to London with their latest show Driftwood, a no frills/many thrills study of human relationships and connection.

Knee Deep, the 2012 predecessor to Driftwood, gave Casus an international standing and led to that award-winning show being performed on different sides of the planet simultaneously. That’s not bad for a debut outing revolving around an abstract theme of human fragility and strength and where the most memorable prop was a tray of fresh eggs. We’re not exactly talking Cirque du So-so here.

This time around, the topic has changed to human connections but all the old Casus motifs are here. This is definitely a no frills/many thrills experience: there are only five acrobats, no live band and the only major non-circus props are a hat stand and a small red light which is lowered and raised over the middle of the stage.

Instead, the focus here is on the artists’ bodies and the phenomenal shapes they create. The various physical vignettes are well-executed and make frenetic use of this talented crew’s multiple talents from doubles trapeze to hula hooping to tumbling. The acrobalance is particularly excellent with Sarah McDougall often at the centre of some breathtaking sequences. Shannon Vitali’s aerial routine which combined hoop with single strap is both fresh and fun and a joy to watch.

The music and lighting are on the sombre side of things which gives an atmospheric ambience to the more dreamlike episodes. Even in this tent seating hundreds, this technique focuses the audience’s attention on a space little bigger than a few square feet producing a hypnotic effect. Sucking all the attention in the room into such a small area is a double-edged sword which enhances the quality (or lack thereof) of what is being displayed. In most cases this works to Casus’s advantage and adds a creative frisson to relish.

The theme doesn’t always hang together and is occasionally too opaquely delivered, especially in the parts of the show with lackadaisical choreography, but there is enough here for any circus fan to get their teeth into.

This Is Cabaret rating: ★★★★☆

Driftwood by Casus. Underbelly Festival, Paradiso Spiegeltent, Jubilee Gardens, Belvedere Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 8XX. From £15.50. Until 4 June.

Review: Pam Ann’s Touch Trolley Run To Galley (20th Anniversary Tour)

Pam Ann will be touching down in London until 27 May.
Pam Ann will be touching down in London until 27 May.

8:00 PM at the Leicester Square Theatre and, with phones set to airplane mode and armrests down, it is time for veteran flight attendant-cum-comedienne Pam Ann back to cause mayhem on her 20th anniversary.

The last two decades have seen Caroline Reid as her sky-high-based alter ego, celebrating and ridiculing all that’s good, gay and glamorous about air travel. The show opens with a suitably camp recorded welcome by Alan Carr followed by a dance-along to Spice Up Your Life, featuring four on-stage “volunteer” Spice Girls picked from the audience. Mere false eyelash-flutters later, Pam is in full flight, reverting to her offensive, filthy self – imagine Bernard Manning, squeezed into a sparkly Kylie frock.

The trolley dolley lovingly talks us through the various airlines with a zeal on par with the most enthusiastic plane spotter. Much of the material centres around the largest demographic of her fan base, gay men: “I fucking hate that you queers got equality. Now you’re all married no one comes out with me anymore. I went to New York Pride and I was one of only three fuckers there!” There are tips on how to smuggle drugs through customs (“just hide your G in your Evian bottle!”), enough vulgarity to make even Joan Rivers wince (“after I’d fucked all the black men and Cubans of Miami I had an arsehole like a hippo’s yawn!”), and a ridiculing of United Airlines (“If any of you disrupt my show I’m gonna have representatives from United pull you out of the theatre feet first and smash your front teeth out!”).

There’s more than gags, though, in Pam Ann’s luggage. As in previous shows, she brings out her latest hilarious video parody; this time her target is The Great British Bake Off, with Pam digitally inserting herself in place of Mary Berry and seducing former contestant Selasi in a film short entitled “The Great British Wank Off”.

Approaching final landing, Pam Ann cranks things up a notch, as a cock-addicted, coke-addled hot mess pouring out champagne to her fans in first class. The show’s highlight occurs with a hilariously-executed trolley-dolly routine with a stick-thin Air France crew member, a horse representing British Airways (who invites guest to board via hand-written invitations), a brutally-punctual gay serving for Lufthansa and a KLM staffed entirely by lesbians. Many of the jokes stem from decades-old stereotypes, but Pam has some sharp lines about American Airlines to keep things topical.

Twenty years are a long time for any act and it shows here in places.  Some of the material feels heavily recycled, but it is done so charmingly; with her tongue planted so firmly-in-cheek, you can’t help but climb aboard.  For fans who love Pam Ann for having a bigger wig and bigger balls than any drag queen, the show is sure to leave few disappointed.

This Is Cabaret rating ★★★★★

Pam Ann: Touch Trolley Run To Galley (20th Anniversary Tour) continues at Leicester Square Theatre until 27 May 2017. More information can be found on the venue website.

 

Boys From The Posh Stuff: Bounder and Cad

Two thoroughly nice chaps you’d safely take home to mother. Two Cambridge choral scholars and occasionally camp satirists at pains to remind you they’re heterosexual. One a bit shorter and blonder, one a bit like Robert Peston.

Let’s first accentuate the positive and say that they sing effortlessly, possibly with more technical accuracy than most contemporary comedy cabaret and they acknowledge that their success is accidental, following a series of private and corporate parties at Number 10 or Highclere Castle.

Bounder and Cad both have day jobs – Adam Drew develops film scripts, Dr Guy Hayward researches the links between music and walking gait and promotes a series of curiously Chauceresque pilgrimages around Britain.

The current act has a repertoire of a dozen songs well-delivered and ranging from the purely classical to pop and show tune, but of dubious topicality: a version of Me and My Shadow parodies the Clegg and Cameron coalition, but wouldn’t pass muster on The Now Show. Their best piece The Flour Duet is a choice contrapuntal between Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood but that cake feels staler now their BBC partnership is over, and on the very day Article 50 was triggered, the best they could come up with was a funny but two-years-ago duet between Angela Merkel and Alexis Tsipras about the Greek debt crisis.

You just know Kit and the Widow would have scrawled something more sharp and topical on their shirt cuffs an hour before the performance.

Because their humour is free from contemporary savagery, everyone says ‘oh, they’re like Flanders and Swann’ as if many can remember the piano-and-wheelchair-bound pair of gents who last performed together in 1967. But actually Tim FitzHigham and Duncan Walsh-Atkins have already mined that seam of ‘two posh blokes in dinner jackets’, for longer than Flanders and Swann did themselves.

Much as I love and respect the pioneering work of Adele Anderson and Dillie Keane with Fascinating Aida to whom Bounder and Cad also pay homage – they are also approaching the stage of their careers when they may consider whether it’s worth flogging the old Peugeot round the shires every winter to stay in a succession of Travelodges and entertain the people they’ve already entertained before.

Trying to give feedback in a positive way – their Teddy Bear’s Picnic song lampooning modern preferences for quinoa and quiche is genuinely funny, but it’s a cardinal error to repeat the same words in two choruses of a patter song, particularly when it would be fairly easy to write a fresh set.  There’s a certain shuffling on stage which looks like clumsiness but could be sorted out by a director, but the most fundamental problem is there’s too little differentiation between the onstage characters.

For a double act to succeed, even without resorting to the Music Hall convention of straight man and comic, you have to vary the personas: although as pairings coming from similar backgrounds Fry and Laurie, Armstrong and Miller, Mel and Sue, French and Saunders, even – God help us – Ant and Dec all learned this early on: one of you plays the more serious, pompous or pedantic role and the other sparks off it with the sarcasm.

Early days. If Waitrose did cabaret, this could be it: but in the harsher competitive arena of the urban comedy and cabaret circuit, we’d welcome something more pointed.

Bounder and Cad: Implicit Content, Crazy Coqs/Live at Zédel, London W1.  29 March 2017, 9pm.

Will The Enduring Wonder Of Cirque Du Soleil Last Forever?  

When you think there is nothing left for Cirque du Soleil to amaze us with, they come up with something newer, fresher, more death-defying and more artistic. They have been doing it for 33 years now so we shouldn’t be surprised at the depths and wonder of their collective imaginations, but some critics have watched their latest show and asked whether their creative pool has run dry?

Amaluna has returned to the Royal Albert Hall for a second run, until the end of February 2017. It first played to sell out crowds last year, and the two and a half hour spectacular, loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Tempest, is still packing them in. The show contains the usual range of circus disciplines, elaborate costumes and visual artistry, but some reviews have described a ‘tried and tested formula’ and the new show being ‘conceptually bland’ despite the addition of two new acts compared to the 2016 version.

Cirque du Soleil’s 33rd production is a unique gathering of artistes from around the world and the stunning mix of balance, dexterity, nerve, athleticism and contortion on display is certainly receiving few complaints from audiences. Packed houses are still dropping jaws at the drama, suspense and sheer theatre of the spectacle before them, and the sweeping majesty of the Royal Albert Hall is certainly a fitting backdrop to Cirque du Soleil’s dazzling show.

The Canadian entertainment company were formed in Montreal in 1980, and with the aid of Government grants managed to create their first show, Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil in 1984. Its success secured a second year of funding and they have never looked back.

Today they are the largest theatrical producer in the world, employing over 5,000 people but staying true to a collective work ethic, whereby all the performers help with props and changing sets rather than using stagehands. Of the 33 individual shows that have stunned audiences all over the world, 18 of them are still active now and are either touring or taking up a residency somewhere. The company has toured every continent and plays to 9,000 people per night in a Las Vegas run it has maintained since 1993. They also have a residency at Disneyland in Florida and have performed at the Oscars ceremony twice, in 2002 and ten years later in 2012.

With other circus performers pushing the boundaries of contemporary circus all the time, it is true that Cirque du Soleil need to innovate to stay ahead of a game they have lead since forming in 1980. Can they find new ways to balance, swing, jump, throw and catch? Innovation has always been at the heart of Cirque du Soleil’s principles, along with comedy and a non-traditional approach to the circus and what people expect.  History suggests they can re-invent themselves again, take that ‘tried and tested formula’, spin it on its head and come back with something you couldn’t predict and couldn’t even describe, and we are more than willing to give them the opportunity.

Tickets for Cirque du Soleil can be booked today at BoxOffice.co.uk

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Back from Broadway: Cynthia’s Comin’ Home

There are few divas for whom you would queue an hour in the pouring rain on a cold night in January, but it was almost worth getting trench foot to witness the extraordinary, uplifting, generous and eclectic ‘comeback’ concert with which Cynthia Erivo chose to favour her loyal London mailing list.

Only circulated a week before, it was an instant sellout and even snaking down the flooding pavement the excitement was shared like we were a secret sect as customers spilling out of steamed-window Shoreditch eateries asked what we were queuing for and shrugged off our enthusiasm with a ‘never heard of her’.

But that is their loss, because not only did Ms Erivo leave London a definite musical theatre star on her way to The Color Purple on Broadway, she has returned with her brightness burnished to a dazzle, and with a trail of performances and landmark events she was visibly excited to share with this loving crowd.

Her voice has grown significantly since The Color Purple at the Menier Chocolate Factory or Dessa Rose at Trafalgar Studios.  It was her 30th birthday a couple of weeks before this concert yet there are moments you look at Erivo – and this is only a compliment – and think she seems ageless. She has such mature vocals, and has already mastered so many musical genres and sings so reflectively that for a moment she might have a look of Joséphine Baker and a lifetime of experience in her phrasing.  Baker was a civil rights activist, too, and Erivo certainly doesn’t shrink from political engagement either.

Everything was introduced with an anecdote highlighting her extraordinary year – one of her most moving being singing ‘The Impossible Dream’ in a segment representing JFK at the Kennedy Centre Honors in Washington, when Aretha Franklin joined in the chorus and the Obamas were in the audience.

She is resolutely unafraid to tackle the iconic – how else could her concert include Billie Holliday’s ‘God Bless The Child’, Eva Cassidy’s remarkable 1992 arrangement of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ and perhaps most daring of all, allow her to outshine Whitney in ‘I Will Always Love You’ which brought the house down. She sang a rare Etta James track, and to thunderous applause, welcomed to the stage her friend Leslie Odom Jr, star of ‘Hamilton’ for a duet from the show before introducing the wonderful ‘You Will Be Found’ – first-act closer from the Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen, written by her other friends Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

She can belt, she can blast the rafters, she can improvise, but she never over-decorates: seizing the Carole King anthem ‘You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman’ she drove the words home harder than Aretha herself, but constantly pulled them back to a confidential whisper, especially on the title phrase.  She spoke, as always, to the room, but if she was privately aiming this at her partner, Aladdin’s Dean John-Wilson who she namechecked in the audience, he is truly the luckiest of men.

And so, for two hours, were we.

 

Cynthia Erivo: Hey, It’s Been Some Time: Shoreditch Town Hall 29 January 2017, 7.30pm.

 

 

 

Review: Becoming Shades, Vaults Festival

Persephone, daughter of Zeus has been abducted. Deep in the Underworld she fights against her imprisonment which has brought perpetual winter on earth.

This is the story of Becoming Shades, staged as part of the Vaults festival. The shadowy outlines of the forgotten myth have been reimagined for modern times by London-based company Chivaree Circus. It is also really about confinement and release and as a promenade piece in the murky tunnels below Waterloo, it does not have to try very hard to be the immersive experience it sets itself up to be.

There are various performances here from the various denizens of Hell and, no matter how each set piece varies in skill and sophistication, the way they are weaved into the story and the neatness of the promenade style direction must be admired. A figure who resembles a skinny, faceless Fester Addams (Malik Ibheis) with flashing, lit-up hands gives us our pre-performance instructions like a freaky airline attendant. Later, he gently ushers us round the performances, telling us to sit and stand as if this is some kind of church or court. His presence and actions unify everything, whereas in other promenade pieces this mechanism can feel intrusive.

It is Persephone’s story, however. Her capture by Hades, the ruler of Hell, is imagined here as a love story and she both wants to escape from him and cannot resist him. The two tautly defined performers illustrate this magnificently, in tumble routines from silks and in balletic lifts.

Persephone, though, is no dainty victim: her considerable strength makes the couple’s dynamic more even and, hence, more interesting. Being so close in the fairly small space also adds to our fascination but almost our discomfort too, a confinement of our own. There’s a feeling here of watching a lion prowl his cage in the zoo.

Elsewhere, the visibility of sheer muscle power work well with the Greek mythic origins, where physical prowess was celebrated in all its forms. For example, Hades flexes and parades his muscles at us before attempting to balance precisely on stilts on his hands, reminding us his body itself is as much an aspect of the performance as anything else.

Release is brought out in the ways light is used. Candles are given to shared out amongst the audience so all can take part in a votive scene while pagan dancers brandish flaming candelabra. It is most successfully used through live music from Becks Johnstone, a singer-songwriter whose soaring notes have already filled London tube stations before she found herself here, performing under one. The contrast of her voice – part Portishead, part hymn and folk-like – with the darkness and musty air around her, gives her work added poignancy.

The light at the end of the tunnel for Persephone is she gets to visit Earth once a year to bring warmth in the form of Spring. In these bitter few weeks of winter, we sympathise with her yearnings, yet are glad to be released from the Vaults and the intensity of the night.

The Vaults festival runs from 25 January to 5 March http://www.vaultfestival.com/

 

 

 

Why You Should Choose Trainspotting

 

Choose Trainspotting. Choose the Vaults. Choose interactive theatre. Choose a dash back to the last Summer of Love. Choose a loud rave. Choose to wear earplugs (one pair of, supplied). Choose strong nudity. Choose dark humour. Choose heavy Scottish accents with no fucking subtitles. Choose an awesome soundtrack. Choose to dive into a world of drugs, sex, death and job interviews. Choose the best bits of Irvine Welsh’s seminal novel enacted with conviction and character by a cast who commit every fibre of their being to the production.

Choose moving monologues. Choose brutal banter. Choose to see the film sequel. Choose to be sat on. Choose to have a pool cue miss your head by inches. Choose to be splattered by something cold, brown and wet. Choose to engage with a ferocious experience which never lets up. Choose to hold this play up as an example of how modern theatre can powerfully mimic one of cabaret’s finest qualities: kicking the fourth wall in the scrotum and then stamping on it for good measure. Choose Trainspotting.

Choose to tell all your mates about Trainspotting because, frankly, if there is anyone who sees this and still poo-poos the very concept of another night out at the theatre, they might not be the kind of people you want as mates, you ken?

This Is Cabaret rating ★★★★★

Trainspotting continues at The Vaults until 15 January 2017. Tickets are £20-£35. More information can be found on the official Vaults website.

Image: Geraint Lewis

This Is How It Feels To Experience Music Through All Five Senses

What does music taste like? What is its scent? How does it feel on your skin? With their new production Tapestries, BitterSuite seek to provide the answers and much more in a uniquely engaging and hugely uplifting performance, that will change the way you hear – and indeed touch, smell and taste – music ever again.

At the beginning of the performance each audience member meets their guide, who is there to help them throughout the experience. Then, they are blindfolded. From here, each guide helps their own member walk, bare footed, into the concert space, where a string quartet awaits. Just the short walk towards this beginning, blind as a bat, brings up questions of trust and feelings of vulnerability which are played upon, in a positive way, throughout the performance. The complete loss of sight is extremely effective in re-tuning the everyday order of the senses – particularly important for an art form for which so much of the experience is based around listening. When visual distractions are impossible, it’s amazing what you can hear.

tapestries
Image: Bittersuite

As the music begins so too is each audience member (for there are several within the space) submerged deeper into the music by their guides. It’s a very physical experience – audience members are tapped, pressed, massaged in rhythm or in feeling with the piece of music playing at that time, their arms raised and dropped, and at one point, their bodies actually lifted in the air. Never has the musical term “movement” been so apt.

But members are guided to feel the music, not just through their ears or touch, but through every sense. A tap to the chin by a disembodied hand means it’s time to open mouths and taste whatever secret treat is waiting for them.  At certain points a scent is sprayed and slowly fills the room. It’s a strange and disorientating musical isolation tank, which encourages a different and certainly more intimate approach to appreciating music than your average concert.

The music itself is a collaboration between composer Fred Thomas and poet Kayo Cingonyi, using compositions from composer Leos Janacek. It’s at intervals frantic and chilling – but there are moments of peace. One of the most soothing parts in the whole experience comes when hearing Cingonyi’s voice drifting in-between strings. In fact, as much as relying so heavily on a stranger can at first be disconcerting, the experience in itself becomes oddly therapeutic. Very few performances require the audience members to themselves give so much to the act, but in doing so there is an unspoken bond felt between everyone in the room, as everyone works together to bring this piece of music to life.

These moments are let down occasionally by the obscurity of what is needed by the guides. There are no words or verbal commands given – members simply have to follow their movements and guess whether their guides mean them to sit or stand up or walk about the room – which at times can distract from the music being played. Equally, the food surprises don’t work quite as well as other elements in translating across to the music and seem to exist purely to add another sensory dimension to proceedings.

Nevertheless with “Tapestries” BitterSuite has managed to put on a thoughtful and unusual way for audiences to get more out of their music. At the end, as the blindfolds are slipped off, it’s almost surprising to find ourselves in just an ordinary performing space. We’ve been immersed so deeply into another world that reality feels, tastes, smells and sounds a long way away.

Tapestries will be performed in New York in December and then from January onwards in the UK in 2017. Find out more at http://www.bittersuite.org.uk

Review: The Ruby Dolls’ The Brides Of Bluebeard

Doing a show about marriage is a brave move. All the statistics point to people getting hitched later in life than ever before; more and more are avoiding it altogether. Two in five marriages end in divorce while a third don’t make it past the 20th anniversary.

In The Brides Of Bluebeard, The Ruby Dolls lay out the story of not one but four marriages, albeit all to the eponymous groom. Is he an eternal romantic, some kind of masochist or is there a dark plan afoot?

The Ruby Doll’s foursome of Susanna Fiore, Jessica Sedler, Rebecca Shanks and Tara Siddall are ably aided and abetted by the musical director and accompanist Benjamin Cox and, between them, they lay out a gothic fairytale stretching across decades.

For this particular outing, each of the Dolls assumes the role of one of Bluebeard’s wives. There’s the news presenter, the hippy model, the aristocrat and the opera singer, all stylishly distinguished through dress as well as physical and vocal mannerisms. All but the latest wife have died in mysterious circumstances and Bluebeard’s latest bride is on the hunt for answers. What will the bride find? [cue violent violin screech.]

Musical harmony groups are certainly not a scarce resource in London but The Ruby Dolls are a different breed to most in the way they put together shows. As well as their own original songs, they throw in mashups and updated arrangements of old songs. They cover topics as different as the works of Berthold Brecht and their own immigrant forebears. They aren’t afraid to experiment with the theatrical format, whether that means kicking down the fourth wall or including humorous “meta” moments.

For Bluebeard, all of that is thrown in with some considerable aplomb. The songs have individual and collective appeal (a cast recording wouldn’t go amiss, hint hint). Some, like this mash-up of Beyonce’s Crazy in Love and Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black, are simply touched by genius.

The live effect isn’t all it could be as Fiore’s voice gets lost in the mix but her voice is better elsewhere and, as the group’s choreographer, she finds novel and intriguing ways to physically express what is being told through song and prose.

Musically, Cox provides superlative contributions to Bluebeard and raises the quality throughout. Together with the Dolls, he has created songs which are punchy and engaging. Moreover, they come with memorable lyrics and hummable melodies, something decidedly lacking from the more recent West End musicals (Groundhog Day aside).

In telling a folk story framed in themes as old as time, the Ruby Dolls have found a refreshingly sincere and heart-touching way to connect those themes with a modern audience. As with their other shows, there is an intelligence at work here which goes far beyond the basic premise of Bluebeard. Between their thoughtful approach to music and drama and their brave and smart choices of subject, the Ruby Dolls are a marriage made in heaven.

This Is Cabaret rating ★★★★

For information on where you can catch The Ruby Dolls in action, check out their official website.