I’ve loved Cabaret, Burlesque and acrobatic performances since before becoming a pole dancer, but after I joined the “upside down” crew, events like these are simply unmissable. Naturally then, I was thrilled to have been invited to the opening run of the Black Cat Cabaret‘s festive show, an evening I was looking forward to so much that I even decided to venture to Hells of All Hells – Leicester Square – in the pre-Christmas period. It was totally worth it.
Last Saturday, a friend and I ‘forced’ our way through a bunch of revellers queueing for pints and mulled wine in Leicester Square’s Christmas markets to reach the Black Cat’s tent, where the show took place. If, like me, you’d rather stay home and sulk instead of venturing into the West End at this time of year, think again. All the tackiness from M&M’s World and its surroundings disappear inside The Black Cat’s 1920’s Paradiso spiegeltent. The show is all about high-kicking showgirls, jaw-dropping acrobats, comic street singers, musicians, aerialists and a belle epoque sense of giddy abandonment to this one-of-a-kind show.
I was pleasantly surprised to hear the hilariously cheeky Dusty Limits, the Black Cat’s master of the ceremonies, instruct all audience members to switch off their phones and avoid snapping or videoing the show. Although I would have loved to immortalise the performers’ amazing feats, shows are meant to be enjoyed, and if you’ve read last weekend’s post you’ll know I’m all about switching off.
Now, The Black Cat Cabaret is not called Black Cat just ’cause. It’s a dark, daring cabaret show complete of black humour, deadly drops from the ceiling and fire eating. Inspired by vintage, after-hours Montmartre, this show has a star-studded line-up, with some of the best performers from the London scene. Opened by Dusty with a Moulin Rouge type intro song nodding to the latest pop culture events and gossip (of course, Kanye got a mention), the show also featured jugglers and the incredible cyr wheel maestro Jo Moss, who balanced and performed flips, jumps and a breakdance type routine inside the wheel, which looks like a giant hoop. This is a video from his Insta to give you an idea:
For all the bail lovers out there, this one hurt haha. Having fun working on transitions between handspin and back coin, although this was maybe a little low for me at the moment haha. Gollum for life #bail #fail #cyrwheel #rouecyr #gollum #handspin #backcoin #chameleon #trainingforonce #doesntevenhurt #mirror #reflection #spinning
One of my absolute favourite performers however was Missy Fatale, a fire eating burlesque bombshell with all the guts to do what I’ve always wanted to do, but never managed to. Imagine a striptease to the sound of a beating, exotic drum, with Missy caressing herself with a lit torch. BOOM.
Again, her Insta should give you an idea of how stunning her performance was:
• PROFESSIONAL DRAGON • Performing my Casbah routine at @underbellyfest for our final @ginhouseburlesque five star 'The Roaring Twenties Revue' ✨✨✨✨✨ I know it's really annoying to post, but I bloody love what I do, and the people I do it with 🖤 #missyfatale #fire #vintage #1920s #ginhouseburlesque #fireeater #circus #burlesque #hot #flamethrower #iwillsetyouonfire
Hailing all the way from Australia – which kinda made me like her a bit more after my stint in the performance heaven that was Sydney – Jess Love brought her genius naked hula hoop routine to the stage by stripping at the most unexpected time ever. Hers was definitely one of the funniest acts: initially, her persona pretended to be not bothered, too cool for school (very Sydney), and then she revealed her other endearing and talented side as the hoops came on and the clothes came off.
Having recently started training with aerial silks and ropes, I found LJ Marles’ performance mesmerising, thanks to his aerial splits, drops, flips, inverts and everything you would want from an aerial show.
Sexy acts and circus are not the only performances The Black Cat has to offer. The hilarious Bowjangles quartet put on a comedy cello and violin shows covering Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song and Abba’s Money Money Money while turning their performance into a sort of lyrical telenovela starring the players.
Topped with a naughty opera solo by Lili La Scala, which featured the singer sitting on front row guests to everyone’s amusement, and with a boozy lipsync by drag queen Meth that would have done Ru Paul proud, I can honestly say The Black Cat Cabaret’s festive show is a riot.
In addition to five festive dates across November and December, Black Cat has put up an alternative New Year’s Eve soirée where revellers will be treated to a cabaret show, a promenade circus spectacle presented by Dusty Limits, live music from carnival show-band extraordinaire Tankus the Henge, and an extended set from The Black Cat Dandy DJs -guaranteed to keep guests dancing all night. With a dress code of ‘gold, red or black; silver-screen sirens & dapper gents’ price of admission includes a glass of bubbly and entry for the whole night.
Witnessing the incredible talent of all the Black Cat Cabaret’s performances made literally made my weekend. Yo, Black Cat, you don’t happen to need a pole dancer, do you? I can twerk in the splits, too.
Pictures: Black Cat Cabaret
Black Cat Cabaret at Christmas in Leicester Square, London WC2H 7DE. Dates:
- Sat 11th Nov 7.30pm
- Thu 30th Nov 7.30pm
- Sat 9th Dec 7.30pm
- Sat 16th Dec 7.30pm
- Thu 28th Dec 7.30pm
- Sun 31st Dec 6.30pm – 2am
- General information can be found at www.theblackcat.info
- Tickets (from £24) available here: bit.ly/bcclesq