This Is Cabaret Rating: ★★★★
Hold onto your pints, Miss Behave is back to wreak havoc upon London Wonderground once more in Miss Behave’s Gameshow, bringing her cacophony of chaotic games to the Spiegeltent and anyone who’s loud and lairy enough for the ride along with her.
As with previous incarnations our host pits audience members against each other to win points from multiple short games. It’s iPhone users against “others”, but it may as well be Braveheart versus King Edward Longshanks, so fierce is the competitive spirit whipped up by our Machiavellian mistress. Helped along by her posing partner “Harriet” (Harry Clayton-Wright as a moustachioed belle with a penchant for hot pants and wigs), Miss Behave glitters from the stage in a gold sequined outfit – but don’t be taken in by her gleaming charm. Anything goes in this camp Hunger Games, and our host tricks just as much as she treats us, cajoling us on from on high and taking and giving points as she sees fit like a kind of fabulous Disco Jesus.
The games themselves are generally quick fire rounds with names scribbled on sheets of cardboard like “Punter or Munter”, “Sanitary Sayings” and “Shazam That Riff”. Loud, screaming audience participation is demanded rather than encouraged – with the phrase “who wants it more” left to ring in our ears more than once.
The props, whilst a little lo-fi, only end up adding to the anarchic energy in their hastily designed manner. The Labour Party leader hopefuls should really think about taking our host on board for their campaigns; her ability to turn a room full of eager yet composed participants into a hot roaring mess in just over two hours is truly astounding.
In between the games are three variety acts, each more bizarre than the last. The Lords of Strut (Cian Kinsella and Cormac Mohally), an Irish comedy dancing duo wearing leotards and bomber jackets, warm up proceedings, before The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue take wordpunnery to the next level in their prop/music driven performance, even if their Oscar Pistorius sight gag feels a little too close to the bone.
Finally, the boys from Wonderground’s Briefs take the stage in a techno hula hoop extravaganza, with Mark “Captain Kidd” Winmill performing an increasingly insane spinning dance to the 90s classic tune No Limits whilst spitting beer and being ridden round the stage by a Fosters-swilling Aussie impersonator.
Each act manages to keep the tempo running whilst also allowing some diversity within the show – but nothing has the crowd gripped quite like Miss Behave. If you’re loud, proud or just part of the drunken crowd, Miss Behave’s Gameshow will have something for you. If you’re not sure don’t despair for by the end of the night you’ll be dancing on the stage grinning from ear to ear with the rest of them.
Miss Behave’s Gameshow returns on 18 and 25 September.
Miss Behave’s Gameshow. 4 September. London Wonderground, Southbank. £15 plus £1 booking fee online. www.londonwonderground.co.uk