Naughty. Dark. Funny.
These are the three ingredients which make The Black Cat Cabaret a show to remember. When you think of the word ‘cat’, you might think of the feline, seduction, temptation, or of witches, charms and spells. Both of these interpretations are equally valid. When you step through the door, you are instantly mesmerised by the showbiz allure of the cabaret, presented as an ‘underworld’ where sex and the sensual are personified on stage. However, while there is a hedonistic ethos at the heart of the show, which encourages the audience to engage with the physicality of human nature, including awareness of our own bodies, this show is far from seedy or distasteful. It is a visual and auditory feast, that showcases a wide variety of live acts of the highest artistry.
‘Dusty Limits’ is the show’s witty host and director, creating an intimate and playful rapport with audience members, as he leads them further into the dark heart of the cabaret and unlocks their hidden secrets and fantasies. Draped around his shoulder is ‘Hades’, the classical God of the underworld – a token which prepares audiences for his darky comedic songs in between acts; songs which cast a positive light on the usually taboo or shady elements of human nature.
Aside from Dusty Limits, who is a one man comedic and satirical show himself, are performers of cabaret, circus and burlesque. However, I would like to stress that the short summary that follows does not do each act the justice they deserve, nor does it evoke the sensation and feeling of seeing them live. So without further ado:
- ‘Jo Moss’ has the audience on the edge of their seats as he performs ‘death defying’ acts on his cyr wheel, making an extremely physically demanding act look effortless. He twists and contorts his body into seemingly impossible positions around and within his wheel- the audience are forced to suspend belief at the moments when his face is inches from the floor!
- ‘Missy Fatale’ is the embodiment of the cabaret’s sex appeal, stripping down to a sparkly silver thong and nipple tassels, she performs a hypnotic and thrilling fire breathing act that will leave you feeling the heat. She handles her instruments with such class and elegance- including her body which can be seen as a work of art in itself. I found this act truly empowering for women, inspiring them to unleash their feisty side!
- The show’s amazing duo: ‘Star-Crossed Lovers’ combine acrobatics with contemporary dance, to create a moving and powerful story of two lovers whose bodies and minds are totally in sync. They never broke eye contact throughout which added to the intensity of their routine, evidently inspired by trust and confidence, as they throw each other around the stage.
- ‘Laura Moody’s’ act was unlike anything I have ever seen before- combining both modern beat box with her classic cello, she produces fantastically dark and cynical songs about growing up (including an affair with an older man) that will have you laughing no matter how hard you try not to. Parallels can be drawn between her crisp, chilling voice and the gothic undertones of her songs, with Indie rock band Florence and the Machine’s debut album: ‘lungs’.
- ‘Cabaret Rouge’ are the black cat’s resident dance troupe, exploding across the stage in a confusion of glamour, daring and sass. They not only provide entertainment throughout the show, but also before- weaving in and out of the audience to incite excitement.
- ‘Katharine Arnold’ is the master of the aerial hoop, a vision in a sparkly red bodysuit and peroxide blonde hair, her act incorporates ballet, poise and grace. The performance builds in intensity, concluding in a dizzying and spellbinding fashion as she spins faster and faster in the air, suspended from a single hoop.
- Last but certainly not least, is a male performer who has two acts in the show. The first being a physical interpretation and caricature of romance books such as ‘Mills and Boon’. He is armed with a cutting tongue and comic gestures which have the whole audience struggling to breath through their laughter. His second act – my personal favourite- consisted of a seduction dance using a diablo (google it, I had not heard of it either!) which was strangely erotic and hilarious!
At the start of the show, Dusty Limits opens with a song, one of the lyrics being: ‘tomorrow it will feel like a dream’, and for me this sums up The Black Cat Cabaret. Set in Leicester Square’s: ‘Underbelly Festival Spiegeltent’ (spiegeltent meaning ‘mirror tent’ in Dutch) you feel like you are in a world of illusion and fantasy.
Tickets start from £24 and the show runs until the 31st of December. I would recommend this for those looking for a truly unique night of fun-packed entertainment– it was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Get booking now, you will not be disappointed.
Warning: This is an adult show, with nudity and sexual references throughout.
Nearest tube station: Leicester Square.
Social media: Twitter: @cabaretblackcat & Instagram: @blackcatcabaret