Leave your troubles outside and step into Herr Kettner’s Kabaret – a divinely decadent supper club with some tantalising entertainment on the menu.
There might be a growing smorgasbord of vintage themed nights to be sampled in London right now, but Herr Kettner’s Kabaret offers up more than just another evening of nostalgic glamour. This quarterly cabaret, which takes place across two floors of famous Soho landmark Kettner’s, combines the naughty undercurrent of a night in the Weimar Republic with the elegance of a Parisian salon. If you like dressing up and want to leave twenty-first century woes trailing far behind you, don your finest feathers and beads, head down to Romilly Street and party like it’s 1929.
Kettner’s has a history of risqué gatherings and secret assignations, so this beautiful three storey town house lends itself well to the atmosphere of a between the wars supper club. The wooden panelled Dining Room and Kabaret Lounge is the heart and soul of the party, with other rooms to be explored, including an authentic absinthe fountain which has all the kit you’ll need to fully indulge in the drowsy charms and rituals of the Green Fairy.
Keep your wits about you though for the first cabaret set at 10.15 pm, introduced by award-winning performer Desmond O’Connor, whose bittersweet lyrics, sharp suits and toe tapping ukulele playing have become his hallmark. He’s on fine form at Herr Kettner’s and makes the perfect Master of Ceremonies, leading the room in a boisterous and irreverent sing-a-long, before handing over to Ruby Deshabillé for a dazzling fan dance.
Next up are those dark creatures of the night, East End Cabaret, who take to the Kabaret Lounge like Marlene Dietrich to a bierkeller. They’re the ideal act for this kind of event – audacious, salacious and full of attack. With Bernadette Byrne’s smouldering, pan European vocals and Victor Victoria’s accordion accompaniment, if there was ever an evening for a Kit Kat Club style drinking song, this is it.
The final act is Belgian juggler par excellence, Florian Brooks. His impressive skill and control is such it would be easy to think the juggling batons were velcromed to his immaculate suit. Brooks graduated in 2011 from the Ecole Superiore des Arts de Cirque in Brussels, where he specialised in club juggling and manipulation. For what is still a fledgling career, he has the polish and assurance of a seasoned performer and has been rightly wowing audiences across Europe with this charismatic set.
If you don’t care about the last tube home, there’s more cabaret at 11.30 pm, plus plenty of other distractions to take you through to the wee small hours, including dance classes with Lindy Hop experts, the London Swing Cats or the chance to cut your own personal moves in the Ballroom with DJ Vincent Moses. At £20 for a non-dining ticket, it’s a good value night out and there’s the option to get the full supper club experience and upgrade to a three course meal and welcome cocktail for a decadent £65. Book now for the kind of evening the ghosts of Kettner’s past would have approved of – lederhosen not compulsory, but might be encouraged.
The next Herr Kettner’s Kabaret takes place on Friday 22 November from 7 pm – 2 am. For further details and to book please visit http://www.herrkettnerskabaret.com/
Herr Kettner’s Kabaret. Hosted by Desmond O’Connor. 29 Romilly St, London, Greater London W1D 5HP. www.kettners.com
Photo credit: Clayton Hartley