Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret is back at the Albany Theatre – by popular demand, according to the venue. The cheeky jazz diva recalls what went right the last time.

The Albany Theatre in Deptford didn’t know what hit it when Ukulele Cabaret took over its café last October. First, it was hard to tell who was a performer and who was an audience member, since so many of the people flocking in had ukulele cases with them.


Tricity Vogue plays with Jo Stephenson (far left) and guests at Ukulele Cabaret

For the empty-handed, London’s ukulele living legend Fang turned up with a dozen spare ukes to lend to anybody who wanted a go. By the end of the night, every one of them was being strummed. When I stepped onstage wearing a golden ukulele on my head, the last vestige of seriousness went out of the evening for good.

When they invited me to transplant my spontaneous free-for-all showcase from its usual habitat at the Lincoln Lounge pub in King’s Cross into a “proper” theatre, I wondered if we would succeed in taking the ukulele cabaret’s informal participatory spirit with us. But we did, in spades. All the benefits of having a stage, with great sound and lights, gave our guest acts the chance to shine.

We got to share our boon with our audience, too. Thirty participants signed up to join the Albany All Stars and packed the stage for a grand finale: a pop and rock medley devised and led by me and my iconic collaborator, Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain musical director George Hinchliffe.


Audience members take part in a beginners' workshop before Ukulele Cabaret at the Albany Theatre

It would be hard to beat the Albany All Stars as the highlight of the night, but other memorable moments included George Hinchliffe’s encore rendition of Ironing My Goldfish Flat, Jo Stephenson’s Shit Olympics song and Mr B The Gentlemen Rhymer whipping the crowd into a frenzy with his “slowie”, The Impossible Dream. The moment when I got overexcited at the end of Let’s Have Another Drink and flung the ukulele off my head was quite memorable, too (at least for my head).

The young girl who joined us on stage for the Albany All Stars finale was a wild card: she hadn’t been at the workshop beforehand. But such was her enthusiasm for the uke that Fang actually gave her one of his to take home and keep.

Even more than that, another moment showed me that the inclusive ethos of Ukulele Cabaret had followed us from King’s Cross to Deptford. It was when George Hinchliffe, our star guest, went around the audience at the end of the show, getting everyone to sign his flyer as a souvenir.

Tricity Vogue’s Ukulele Cabaret returns to the Albany “by popular demand” this Sunday, June 10th, 19:00. Tickets for the event cost £7 (£12 including the Albany All Stars pre-show workshop, £10 concessions). Advance sales and other details from


Photo credits: Polstar Photography