Before the Burlesque TOP 50 madness kicked off at New Year, I enjoyed a highly entertaining evening at Sean Mooney‘s Beyond The Christmas Cabaret at The Clapham Grand in London. Sean can always be relied on to put on a good show, but I didn’t expect this festive offering to be such a family affair. You could barely turn around without bumping into one of a host of cabaret starlets, and the room was warm with love, reunion and appreciation. As a result, the performers on stage received vociferous applause and encouragement, and by the end they had more than earned it.
Des O’Connor was at his charming, witty best as host for the evening, delighting us with his devilish ditties and introducing acts which included skilful hand balancing from Sammy Dinneen, haunting melodies from Lili La Scala, smooth trickery from charismatic magician Alan Hudson, a hilarious reality check from Benjamin Louche in the guise of Benny the Elf of Truth, and first-rate mashup mastery from headliners Frisky and Mannish. Craig the Incredible Hula Boy received a roof-raising reception, wowing us with his hooptacular Wizard of Oz themed routine. Adored on stage and off, Craig is the high point of every show I’ve seen him in.
The striptease portion of the evening was served up by the sugar-toned Polly Rae, stripped bare by two eager elfish helpers, and the effervescent Folly Mixtures who delivered their usual brand of fun and frivolity.
Aside from a couple of minor hiccups which were instantly forgiven and forgotten by the crowd of peers and cabaret fans, Beyond The Christmas Cabaret was a heart-warming and uplifting Christmas party for London’s cabaret elite.
All images from Beyond The Christmas Cabaret ©The Sofa Portaits Co.
Quoted in major international newspapers and held in high esteem and affection by the international burlesque community, 21st Century Burlesque Magazine has documented the contemporary burlesque scene since 2007. Founded and edited by Holli-Mae Johnson.