August is normally a quiet time for the London cabaret scene. Promoters call it “kipper month” and put regular shows on pause. Performers skedaddle north to Edinburgh for The Mother Of All Arts Festivals. Punters get a chance to avoid the usual dark rooms and spend time instead drinking dry martinis by the Thames or maybe cans of warm Stella in Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. We don’t judge.
This year, though, there are some cracking shows which are worth ducking out of the sunshine for, full of unique “you had to be there” moments that will keep you bouncing well into the autumn. Get stuck in.
Baby Lame: Don’t Call It A Comeback
Don’t be the last one on the block to experience the lunatic charms of this show. Ex-child star Baby Lame and her mother/manager Moan Crawford are looking to get back into the limelight and need a loving audience to get them there. Muffins, dance-offs and a kooky wedding are all part of the mix in this highly participatory slice of alt-drag delight.
Held as part of the Royal Vauxhall Tavern’s Hot August Fringe.
7 August. Royal Vauxhall Tavern. More details.
Boom & Bang Circus
Co-produced by burlesquer Kitty Bang Bang and Boom Boom Club founder Bioux Le Hayes, Boom & Bang is hands down one of the finest variety nights in town. For the first time, this circus will be running away to join up with The Roundhouse and dragging along their house regulars and some eyecatching guests. MC Jonny Woo, ballerina Madame Galina and clown Dott Cotton will be joined by handbalancer Felipe Reyes, aerialist Katharine Arnold, cyr wheel master Jo Moss and contortionist Valerie Murzak who will be churning out some world-class circus thrills.
Held as part of the Roundhouse’s Summer Sessions.
15 August. The Roundhouse. More details.
The Infinitease Grand Finale
Want to see the next stars of burlesque? From the same stable of Uncaged, The Infinitease Grand Finale showcases ten girls, all of whom have made it through the heats to get this point. Will it be Coco Cane? Or Fey Au Lait or Lola LaTease? Guest judges Chrys Columbine, Miss Dolly Blow-Up and Equador Zaha will be weighing up the dancers on the night while Ava Iscariot will be Mistress of Ceremonies.
18 August. Archangel, Kensington. More details.
Summer Circus Spectacular
Circus in a pub? Whatever next? The Aeronaut in Acton will be holding a blow-out bonanza of big-top action with a Stella, sorry, stellar line-up. Get your peepers around this lot: The Double R Club‘s Benjamin Louche, Florian Brooks, Missy Fatale, Jackie Le, Limbo‘s Danik Abishev and many more will be rolling out rounds of comedy, contortionism, firebreathing, juggling, aerialism, hula dancing and hand-balancing. Fill your boots.
18 August. The Aeronaut, Acton. More details.
Briefs: The Second Coming
The Australian international boylesque/circus sensations boomerang their way back to the London Wonderground to take over the spot soon to be vacated by headline show Limbo. We loved their first show in 2012, we loved Second Coming‘s first coming in 2013 and this month sees that latter blast of brilliance return to one of the few venues that can do justice to their particular brand of high-calibre hijinks.
From 28 August. London Wonderground. More details.
Up at the fringe? Check out our guide to the circus treats up there.
Wondering what else is at the London Wonderground? Step this way.
Image: Ryan Mcnamara