The Spiegeltent opens its doors this week for a five-month carnival of cabaret.

The Spiegeltent opens its doors this week for a five-month carnival of cabaret.

The craziest cabaret carnival around lands this week with a thud they’ll hear on Mars. This five-month monster sees many of the best variety acts from around the capital and the world set up home in the spectacular Spiegeltent. From family-friendly fun to fabulous freakshows, there really is something for everyone with a pulse and a night spare.

The Wonderground opens tonight for the first preview of the all-singing all-dancing all-circus Limbo!, there’s an opening gala on Friday and the action continues right on until 28 September. We dare you (in fact, we double dare you) not to impressed by the breadth and quality of what’s on offer. Stay tuned to This Is Cabaret for reviews, interviews and competitions. The summer starts here.



“Limbo fires up the Southbank once more with circus as you’ve never seen it: wild, wicked and out of this world. The original cast returns to whisk audiences into a deliciously dark world of jaw-dropping contortion, gut-churning aerobatics, nailbiting stunts and staggering illusions.” (12 yrs+)

Dates: 7 May – 17 August (Tue-Sun only)

Time: 7:15pm (until 8 June), 7:30pm thereafter as well as 4pm matinees every Saturday during the run

Ticket prices: £10.00-£30.00 during previews (7-14 May), £15-£50 (15 May onwards)


Wonderground Opening Gala – Eurovision Special

“(Wonderground)’s cabaret stars perform in a crazy, kitsch and calamitous night of epic proportions, ringing in the summer with an epic bang.” (18 yrs+)

Date: Friday 9 May

Time: 9:30pm (120 mins)

Ticket price: £16.00-£22.50


House of Burlesque

“Hosted by the bawdy and beautiful Miss Tempest Rose and featuring a selection of the finest international burlesque stars, this show-stopping night of glamorous entertainment brings an all-new show to the Wonderground – a treat to those returning to the House!” (16 yrs+)

Dates: Thursdays 12 June, 7, 14, 21, 28 August, 4, 11, 18 September

Time: 9:30pm (70 mins)

Ticket price: £14.00-£20.50.


Briefs: The Second Coming

“Described as an Aussie ‘Cirque du Soleil’ meets ‘Ru Paul’s Drag Race’, the award-winning all male, all vaudeville, all trash brat-pack return to London with their cult variety hit.” (16 yrs+)

Dates: 28 August-29 September (not Mondays)

Time: 7:30pm (75 mins)

Ticket price: £14.00-£20.50.


Monski Mouse’s Baby Disco Dance Hall

“Dj Monski Mouse and her team bring high energy smiling to the Spiegeltent, spinning retro hits and funky nursery rhymes. Get your disco-dancing-booties on!” (0-5 years)

Dates: Sundays 11, 18, 25 May, 15, 22, 29 June, 6, 20, 27 July, 10, 24 August, 7 September

Time: 3pm (45 mins)

Ticket price: £8.00 / children under 6 months enter free


The London Cabaret Festival Showcase (Cancelled)

“A night of superlative sights and sounds. From variety to circus, music to comedy, drag to mime, burlesque to dance, all human life is here to amaze, amuse and astound!” (18 yrs+)

Date: Saturday 10 May

Time: 9:30pm (80 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50

Ticket refunds are available from the point of purchase.


The Tiger Lillies

“Following the sell-out success of their Ancient Mariner show at the Southbank Centre last year, The Tiger Lillies unveil a whole host of new, dark, depraved songs and draw on the classic recordings, such as Shockheaded Peter.” (16 yrs+)

Dates: Tuesday 13 – Sunday 18 May

Time: 9:15pm (90 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50


Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School

“Dr Sketchy’s is the world premier alternative drawing movement, started by artist Molly Crabapple in New York.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Mondays 12 May, 23 June, 28 July, 1 September

Times: 7:30pm (210 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50


Swing Out: From The Twenties To The Twist

“A night of scintillating jazz, cool swing, hot jive and scorching rock ‘n’ roll!” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Mondays 19 May, 16 and 30 June, 21 July, 4 August, 8 and 22 September

Time:  7:30pm

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


DJ Harvey Presents Cirque Du Bend

“The London DJ and Mo’Wax Luminary makes a rare appearance in his hometown as part of Meltdown 2014.” (18 yrs+)

Date: Thursday 19 June

Time: 7pm (240 mins)

Ticket price: £17.50


Meow Meow: Feline Intimate

“Making her Wonderground debut, Meow Meow, the international singing sensation and purr-fect post, post-modern showgirl, is back in London for three weeks only.” (12 yrs+)

Dates: Tuesday 20 May to Sunday 8 June (not Mondays)

Time: 9:15pm (75 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£15.50 during previews (20-22 May) otherwise £16-£17.50 (Sunday-Wednesday) or £18-£19.50 (Thursday-Saturday). Wonder seats are available for an extra £5.


Boris & Sergey’s Astonishing Freakatorium

“The Balkan Badboys delve for your titillation into the world of the macabre. Watch them recreate feats of incredible fortitude and endeavours of unimaginable physical endurance.” (12 yrs+)

Dates: Wednesdays 11, 18 and 25 June

Time: 9:30pm (90 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


The Black Cat Cabaret

“The Black Cat Cabaret draws inspiration from the Absinthe-soaked underworld of Montmartre in its heyday featuring a company of mad musicians, alluring acrobats, decadent dancers and comic characters – brought to life by the intoxicating spirit of the moon.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Fridays 13, 20 and 27 June; 15, 22 and 29 August; 12 and 26 September.

Time: 9:30pm

Ticket prices: £18.00-£24.50


Miss Behave’s Gameshow

“Welcome to the playground for illegitimate entertainment. Miss Behave (Best Entertainment – Olivier Award Winner) returns with her late night smash hit show. With a stellar cast of comic genius, and a fresh take on an evening out – part Gameshow, party Variety show, part Disco.” (16 yrs+)

Dates: Saturdays 30 August and 6, 13 and 20 September.

Time: 9:30pm (120 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50


Ready, Steady, Ceilidh!

“A chance for the whole family to get up, dance and learn the secrets of Scotland’s most famous shindig. Join our hilarious hosts and LIVE musicians on London’s South Bank as they introduce you and the kids to the exhilarating world of Ceilidh and its fantastic party atmosphere.” (all ages)

Dates: 20 August-3 September.

Time: 2:30pm

Ticket price: £10.00
This Is Ceilidh!

“Scotland’s most famous shindig as you’ve never seen it before. A riotous assembly of spellbinding tunes, prodigious piping and outrageous dancing.” (all ages)

Dates: 18-27 August.

Time: 7:30pm

Ticket price: £18.00-£19.50


Lili La Scala: Siren

“A journey, a ship, the shifting of time and sands. Found songs, from the poetry of Masefield to the music of Tom Waits. Bewitching, haunting and mesmeric songs and stories; stories about journeys, stories about the sea. Timeless, beautiful songs. A Siren’s songs.” (14 yrs+)

Date: 21 June 2014

Time: 7:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Al Murray The Pub Landlord’s Southbank Saloon

“Al Murray will be joined by a host of special guests each night – comedy, variety and music are all on tap in this headline show.” (14 yrs+)

Dates: Saturdays 14, 21 and 28 June, 5 July

Time: 9:30pm (105mins)

Ticket prices: £24.00-£25.50


EastEnd Cabaret

“The multi-award winning musical comedy duo return to the London Wonderground for one night only!” (16 yrs+)

Date: Thursday 26 June

Time: 9:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum

“One is good with his fingers, the other is good with his mouth! Jamie’s brand of heartfelt songwriting and melody finger-work is elevated when combined with Tom’s heavy hitting, world-class beatboxing.”

Dates: Fridays 20 June, Tuesday 22 and Sunday 27 July, Tuesday 2 September

Time: 7:30pm (June and July) and 9:30pm (September)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50


Bourgeois & Maurice: 7th Birthday Party

“The UK’s sharpest, darkest musical siblings celebrate their 7th birthday with a night of scabrous musical comedy. Expect rarely-heard old songs, often-heard newer songs and never-ever heard brand new numbers.” (16 yrs+)

Date: Tuesday 8 July

Time: 9:30pm

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Hot Dub Time Machine

“The world’s first time-travelling dance party is back, bigger than ever, and still powered by your dancing. Best. Party. Ever.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Thursday 3, Friday 4, Thursday 10, Saturday 12, Thursday 17-Saturday 19 July

Time: 9:30pm (150 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£12.50 (3, 4, 10 and 17 July); £14.00-£15.50 (11, 12, 18 and 19 July)


The WOW Show: Wonderground on Wednesdays

“Putting the punch into the midweek slump, a raucous rabble of tip-top entertainers stands by to make your Wednesday “WOW”. Tipping its hat to the shiny floor of Saturday TV variety shows of old, expect games, interviews and performances bound to knock your socks off.” (16 yrs+)

Dates: Wednesdays 2, 9 and 23 July, 6 and 20 August and 3 September

Time: 9:30pm (70 mins)

Ticket prices: £11-£17.50


Roulston & Young: Songs For Cynics

“Original comic songs from the creators of Julie Madly Deeply and Cabaret Whore, Sarah-Louise Young (Fascinating Aida and The Showstoppers) and Michael Roulston (TO&ST nominee).” (16 yrs+)

Date: Thursday 24 July

Time: 9:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50



“A new devised ensemble work directed by Struan Leslie for a company made up of graduating students from the National Centre for Circus Arts as they leap into individual journeys, comprising aerial and ground based disciplines.”

Dates: Monday 14 – Wednesday 16 July

Time: 9:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Handmade Tales

“Tap Tap Theatre presents a delightful and enchanting family show for the young and the young at heart. Handmade Tales tells six original children’s stories, with live music, some household items, and a lot of creativity.” (5 yrs+)

Dates: 12-17 August

Time: 4:00pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £10.00-£15.00


Cirque du Cabaret

“London’s finest Cirque du Cabaret (The Tassel Club) come back for the third year running to host two gala shows. Performing in the round, in the glorious Spiegeltent, both shows will be unique, blending stylish cabaret, comedy, live music, circus and burlesque.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Fridays 25 July and 8 August

Time: 9:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £17.50-£24.50


Saturday Night At The Spiegeltent

“Stunning acts, plenty of booze and an abundance of tunes to shake your tail to.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Saturdays 26 July and 16 August

Time: 9:30pm (150 mins)

Ticket prices: £16.50-£22.50


The Lost Lectures

“The Lost Lectures is a unique underground series that pushes the lecture format to its creative limits, hosting enchanting talks from incredible secret locations.” (18 yrs+)

Date:Wednesday 13 August

Time: 9:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £24.00-£30.00


Shlomo’s Beatbox Adventure…For Kids

“Shlomo is a world record–breaking human beatboxer, which means he can make all kinds of music using just his mouth and a microphone. Come on a journey with this sonic superhero and become one of his sidekicks.” (all ages)

Dates: 7-8 August

Time: 2pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £10.00-£15.50


Tina C: The Empire Strikes Back

“Country music singer Tina C. is one of the entertainment greats, with songs like If You Can’t Live Without Me (Why Weren’t You Dead When I Met You?).” (12 yrs+)

Dates: Wednesdays 30 July and 17 September

Time: 9:30pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Between The Sheets: An Intimate Cabaret

“A hilarious revue filled full of song, dance, circus and glorious innuendo that not only encapsulates traditional burlesque and cabaret, but also explores the darker, more erotic and sensual side of striptease.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Friday 1 and Saturday 9 August

Time: 9:30pm (90 mins)

Ticket prices: £16.00-£22.50


The Double R Club

“Your disreputable host Benjamin Louche introduces a dark and troubling cabaret dream from another place, taking inspiration directly or indirectly from David Lynch’s air of mystery and nightmare, all served with humour.” (18 yrs+)

Dates: Saturdays 2 and 23 August

Time: 9:30pm (120 mins)

Ticket prices: £16.00-£22.50


The Friday Night Freaks

“It’s Friday, it’s late, it’s time to let your hair down and… get freaky?! Join this late-night feast not for the faint of heart, where the nation’s naughtiest comics and burlesquers take to the stage with all manner of ‘spesh acts’ to bring London an amusing assault to the eyes and ears.” (18 yrs+)

Date: Tuesday 5 September

Time: 9:30pm (80 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50


Eyes Down! Bingo With Ida Barr

“Ida Barr is the People’s Pensioner. She used to be a Music Hall singer but has triumphed of late as a hip hop, RnB, rapper. She calls it Artificial Hip Hop. Ida hosts the best game of Bingo ever. Thrill as your dabbers tremble when you compete to win top prizes, including the national accumulator of the Queen Mum figurine.” (all ages)

Dates: Saturdays 2 and 23 August

Time: 9:30pm (120 mins)

Ticket prices: £16.00-£22.50


Tongue Fu And Hunting Pigs – Double Bill

“At Tongue Fu the UK’s sharpest poets, storytellers and comedians perform with improvised soundtracks from the genre-hopping Tongue Fu Band (credits Nostalgia 77, Puppini Sisters, Jamie Cullum) and animations from CR&D.

Hunting Pigs is a new spoken-word musical comedy from Tongue Fu creator and host Chris Redmond, award-winning author Anna Freeman and the Tongue Fu Band. Awkward stories of adolescence, drum lessons, imaginary sit-coms and one-night stands, all feature in a rambunctious show about learning to live with the choices we make and the music we listen to.” (14 yrs+)

Date: Wednesday 10 September

Time: 9pm (120 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Another F*cking Variety Show

“A late night date with the beautiful, beguiling Lili la Scala and her glittering cavalcade of Cabarati.” (16 yrs+)

Date: Saturday 19 and Sunday 26 September

Time: 9:30pm (75 mins)

Ticket prices: £14.00-£20.50


Amy G: Entershamement

“Amy G, ‘a comic powerhouse with a spectacular voice’ (The Australian), deconstructs before your eyes and then rebuilds beauty from the inside out. She gleefully defies shame and categorization.” (16 yrs+)

Date: Tuesday 9 September

Time: 9:30pm (75 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50


Ali McGregor’s Jazzmatazz

“An afternoon of jumpin’, jivin’ jazz for kids, led by the insanely talented mother of two, Ali McGregor. An hour of jazzy beats to get the kids singing and prancing, twisting and dancing.” (Recommended for ages 0-7)

Dates: Saturdays/Sundays 13/14, 20/21, 27/28 September

Time: 4pm (60 mins)

Ticket prices: £8.75-£10.00


Colin Hoult’s Carnival Of Monsters

“Fresh from its hit Radio 4 series, this season’s Carnival features bizarre, yet familiar characters, stand up, song and sketches. Meet monsters, villains and heroes from the original Carnival trilogy along with brand new creations fresh from the hugely inventive mind of Colin Hoult.” (14 yrs+)

Date: Thursday 25 September

Time: 9:30pm (90 mins)

Ticket prices: £11.00-£17.50