Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Finger in the Pie Cabaret - Madam Jo Jo’s, London

Finger in the Pie Cabaret
Reviewer: Honour Bayes

Finger in the Pie Cabaret is quite a veteran on this scene and it’s easy to see why, with a loyal audience of fans and friends all eager to laugh on a Sunday night it’s a tasty little treat to get you ready to deal with the dull dull week ahead. Tonight there is a naughty feeling in the air at Madam Jo Jo’s as the sparkly cabaret sign and Pheonix Nights-esque star lit backdrop twinkle away in anticipation of the fun to follow.

Myra Dubois saunters out wearing a slinky leopard print number with on trend leggings and a £2.50 bangle from Peacocks, and sets the tone of the evening with a sassy introduction and a lesson on audience etiquette which goes down very nicely, if a tad brashly.

According to the acidic Myra the line up has changed slightly due to some unfortunate cancellations which may account for the fact that we have a sequence of Burlesque acts one after the other to start off with; there certainly doesn’t seem to be any other reason to programme the performers in this way. One set of boobs is titillating, two and we’ve got charmed déjà vu, three and it gets plain tiresome; the delight of cabaret is to mix things up, a talking dog one moment, a flash of skin the next, and to put similar acts together like this seems mistaken.

Whilst Misty Moores has a fabulous sailor girl act with just the right amount of cheek, of these girls the best is the wonderfully loopy Delilah D’Lush whose Crazy In Love straightjacket striptease brings a refreshing dash of originality and jiggley joy to the stage. Getting straight to the heart of great Burlesque D’Lush clearly knows full well that you need to be sexy but above all kitschy and seriously tongue in cheek.

A well timed break later and a failed audience matchmaking attempt by Myra, and we are treated to a look into the weird workings of comedienne Liz Bentley, whose brief poems and songs skate the thin line between awkward and intriguing; her wonderfully sunny smile belying a pretty dark sense of humour which left some laughing but most kindly puzzled. A honey pot of an act in the form of Kimberly Mackoy then gyrates through a delicate belly dancing number and then to plug a hole left by a missing programmed performer comes Tom Rogerson, a truly astonishing beat boxer whose star quality shines the rest of them off the stage. His dirty but perfectly toned drum beats and high whispered melodies blast out as he frequently defies audience belief by unifying not only two but a cavalcade of sounds and rhythms, prompting a near standing ovation from the enraptured crowd. He made the whole night worthwhile in one fell swoop – more of him next time please.

After some fairly average hip-hop grannies the night is finished off in a suitably freakish fashion (I won’t spoil the horrors for you but suffice it to say there’s a stapler and a balloon involved) and we are kicked out into the cold London air once more by our malevolent hostess Myra; for the most part satisfied. It would be brilliant to have more ‘Tom Rogersons’ and less Burlesque, and for their to be a more of a ‘company’ feel to the whole piece (each act seemed to stand slightly alone) but all in all Finger in the Pie Cabaret sparkled very prettily and teased one and all in a most satisfactory fashion on a what would otherwise have been a traditionally staid Sunday evening.

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