This winter, despite the sudden and sad departure of Soho venue, Madame Jojo’s, the cabaret scene remains as vibrant and festive as it has done in past years. In fact, all it seems to be missing this year is a stocking filled with glitter and a Frisky & Mannish take on Band Aid 2014 (please Santa, I’ve been moderately good all year, please make this happen).
The Christmas season kicks off on Friday 28 and Saturday 29 November with Mary Bijou’s Christmas cabaret titled Mary Bijou’s Nut Cracking Christmas. Expect top circus and cabaret performers bringing you an intimate and immersive circus cabaret show where the audience are encouraged to dress up and become part of the cabaret family for the evening. The night will be held at NoFit State, Four Elms Road in Cardiff and tickets start from £10.50.
The Folly Mixtures have had to think on their sparkly toes this year; their Christmas razzle dazzle night out has historically been held at the now-defunct Madame Jojo’s, so their new venue is yet to be announced. Rest assured, though, that the closure of a venue hasn’t stopped them in the past and won’t stop them now. Basically, if there’s a chance to drink bubbly wine and wear nothing but a Santa hat you won’t stop these girls. Get all the tickets and information you can handle via the Folly Mixtures Facebook page.
Next up is site-specific performance, The Curiosity Cabaret. Promising a thrilling and horrifying look at the world’s first ever history of medicine, vaudeville style, some of London’s best cabaret artists will be taking you on a journey through medicine, with lectures from academics such as Dr Anna Maerker. The Senior Lecturer at King’s College London will front and centre in the first of this series, The Science and History of Voice in the 19th Century. The show runs from Tuesday December 2nd to Sunday December 7th, and all details can be found here. Get your (shinbone) skates on though, day one has already sold out. Tickets start at £23.50.
And then we come to Winterville, the Victoria Park-based Christmas celebration. Boasting free entry and a whole host of different events, including an ice rink and panto (oh no they don’t, oh yes they do), Winterville is set to be a vibrant alternative to the funfair-style garishness that Hyde Park has historically promoted. Their Spiegeltent is a fabulous array of variety goodness with appearances from, amongst others, the never-the-same-twice Cirque Du Cabaret, Edinburgh Fringe bestseller Cutting off Kate Bush, and a frankly outrageously rude and funny Fairy Grotto. Their website is extensive and lists all the events that are going on this winter.
Trixie Malish will be bringing her New York inspired Sleaze to Camden on Wednesday December 3rd this year. The show will run from 830pm at the Lockside Lounge in Camden and features performances from Fancy Chance and the spandex-clad Duotard. The show is free and was founded by Trixie and Mat Fraser, both versatile and fascinating performers who are determined to bring their particular brand of filth to Camden. Their Facebook page has the full line-up and details.
The Palace of the Snow Queen is a festive pop-up show from the minds of the Black Cat Cabaret team. Inspired by Nordic fairytales and fables, expect a night of fine dining and cabaret with a bit of circus for good measure. Plus plenty of extravagant scenery, of course. The location is currently secret but between me, you and the internet, it is based in Shoreditch. All information can be found on their website.
For those desperate to stay away from the fairylights and smell of pine, The Roundhouse presents The Night Before Winterval, a show created for the Roundhouse by cabaret all-rounder Dusty Limits. The night will be presented by anti-drag queen David Hoyle and Fancy Chance gets over from Sleaze in time to perform. The show dates are Friday 12, Saturday 13, Friday 19 and Saturday 20 December.
Queerlesque queen Rubyyy Jones, brings the “Familyyy Fierce” to The Black Cap in Camden with their pantomime, Sleeping Beautyyy. Directed by London’s “Tranny With a Fanny”, Holestar, Sleeping Beautyyy will run on the 15, 16, 17 and 18 December and promises an opulently burlesque version of the classic fairytale.
That’s not all at the The Black Cap over Christmas. We recommend getting down to the Camden joint to see Yule be Swell, an untelevised charity special in aid of the Albert Kennedy Trust brought to you by Myra DuBois.
If you fancy getting a little Christmas party karaoke practice in then Bourgeois and Maurice and Scottee are offering a three day run of their Kristmas Karaoke at Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. The show runs from Monday 15th December to Wednesday 17th December.
Between attending the karaoke you can squeeze in a visit to see burlesque star Miss Polly Rae in Red: A Christmas Cabaret. With performances from Reuben Kaye, Kitty Bang Bang, Sammy Dinneen and Madame De Voila and live music from Michael Roulston and band, the Elgar Room at The Royal Albert Hall has never looked so classy.
To finish off, a few more events to make sure you have in your diary: Ragina LeLumpi, Rubyýý Jones and special guests present “Dreams From the Darkness“ at the Looking Glass Cocktail Club in Hackney Road, London on 21 December, which deals with coping with the darkest hours of the winter, and then there’s The Bubble Club, an inclusive events company run by a collective of people with and without learning disabilities, who have created their own version of panto called “Bear in Boots“ which looks as entertaining and fun as it sounds. A great initiative and ethos.
As ever, we welcome your input to our line-up and if you have any exciting Christmas cabaret shows to tell us about then please do let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hopefully you’ll be able to squeeze all of these beauties into your diaries alongside as many festive trips to the local pub, work nights out and Christmas jumper shopping excursions you can fit into four weeks. What’s that? Christmas present shopping? Does that involve gin? No? In that case you can buy your own Furby.