Remember, remember, November is always full of great cabaret. Forget those loud, empty bangs overhead: for real fireworks, check out these five shows.
TUESDAY: Meow Meow, Royal Festival Hall
The Australian siren dazzled this summer at the Brighton Fringe and in the Emma Rice-directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream for the RSC. This week, she is back on the South Bank in the company of piano virtuoso Thomas M Lauderdale, and trio Pink Martini and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Operatic cabaret divas are not a rarity, even in the UK, but none do it as well as Meow Meow.
1 November. Royal Festival Hall. Doors open 7:30pm. Tickets £25-45. More information
WEDNESDAY: Holly Penfield’s The Rhythm Of Life, Royal Vauxhall Tavern
Straight outta San Fran, Holly Penfield takes over the RVT for one night only as she sings a medley of her own songs interspersed with that of the iconic actress and singer Judy Garland. Penfield’s career is already five albums deep and the American songbird shows no signs of letting up on her breathtaking performances. We’ll be there as long as she promises to leave the horsewhip at home this time.
2 November. Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Doors open 8pm. Tickets £15 (reserved seating) £10 (general seating). More information
THURSDAY: Barelesque 11: Weird Science, Royal Vauxhall Tavern
A TIC favourite, Barelesque only pops up a few times a year so we recommend you grab your chance to see their shows when you can. Part kooky and kinky burlesque/variety show, part charity auction, the show has raised thousands for the Albert Kennedy Trust making sure that homeless LGBT youth have a roof over their heads. Oh, and you get to see the awe-inspiring and award-nominated video burlesque artiste Ana Morphic and her co-founders Tallulah Van Leer and Honey Schnapps (pictured above).
3 November. Royal Vauxhall Tavern. Doors open 7pm. Tickets £10-£35. More information
FRIDAY: Jonny Woo’s Un-Royal Variety, Hackney Empire
East End drag legend Jonny Woo doesn’t do variety shows by halves. Take a look at this lot for a cast: Bourgeois & Maurice, Diane Chorley & The Buffet, Le Gateau Chocolat, Peter and Bambi Heaven, Myra Dubois and Lavinia Co-op (another drag legend in her own right). In between acts, Woo will be presenting topical material including a 10-minute Brexit – The Musical with Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer The Opera).
4 November. Hackney Empire. Doors open 7.30pm. Tickets £10-£35. More information
FRIDAY: Peacock Butch, Resistance Gallery
Describing itself as “a new queer clubbing experience”, this collaboration between bodypainter extraordinaire Victoria Gugenheim and Lucha Britannia’s Garry Vanderhone encourages every flavour of sexuality and gender expression to come on down and flaunt their beautiful selves. There will be live performance from alt-burlesquer and make-up genius Marnie Scarlet as well as a make-up artist on hand to help put that look together.
4 November, Resistance Gallery. Doors open 9pm. £5/£3 (students/extremely fabulous creatures). More information
Image: Barelesque co-founders Ana Morphic, Tallulah Van Leer and Honey Schnapps