Not that it's hard to find a climactic performance in London, but for that extra spectacular umph, check out any one (or all!) of these underworlds of entertainment. Come taste the wine. Come hear the band. Come blow your horn (easy now!). Start celebrating right this way. Your table is waiting at the cabaret.
The London Cabaret Club – Best for mad costumes, top tunes and saucy dancing
Where: The subterranean hideaway known as The Bloomsbury Ballroom, that requires you to enter through a revolving door on the edge of a lush green square. There is a large open hall with a stage at one end for a live band, and a raised platform in the centre reserved for action. There is no restricted view. Everyone is up close and personal.
What to expect: The Best of British Pop, every Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Book a table seat and nestle in for the evening with some bubbles, a few tasty British tapas snacks, and an array of ridiculously tight, flamboyant costumes (pictured above). This show could hardly be more camp and sexy. Dancers strut and wriggle; singers bellow and call; contortionists bend and flex; acrobats tumble and bounce; and all to the greatest hits from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. If you don't find yourself singing along, you're probably already dead. (make sure you stick around after the show to share a drink with the performers and have a post-show boogey on the dancefloor).
Café de Paris – Best for cabaret virgins
Where: The London Cabaret society are the resident entertainers at Cafe de Paris. Past performers at the club include Marlene Dietrich and Louise Brooks, who supposedly introduced the Charleston dance to the London public there.
What to expect: From burlesque to opera performances, a cabaret night at Cafe de Paris promises to be a one packed with risqué, bizarre and electrifying entertainment. Cabaret virgins will certainly have their cherries popped, so promises the compere. This may allude to after the performance when the audience can the join the performers for a few drinks in Café de Paris' private room decked out with beds. Ooh la la, let the cabaret commence!
Proud Cabaret – Best for a taboo and twenties fans
Where: Proud Galleries is located in what used to be the old horse hospital. So it's only fitting that they should host a night called Spank in which sexy starlets are strapped up in horses saddles along with suspenders.
What to expect: Spank night is naughty, oh so very naughty, where Proud plays master to your servant and insolence will not be tolerated and bad behaviour will be punished. The Speakeasy and Beautiful and the Damned nights, on the other hand, are less slap and more tickle with feathers galore! The former offers cabaret performances that turn from funny to raunchy. Whatever happens you're in for a roaring good time. Inspired by Fitzgerald's novel of the same name, The Beautiful and the Damned night echoes all the naughtiness the 1920s had to offer: sex, sensations, drugs and debauchery.
Battersea Barge Cabaret – Best cheesy comedy chuckles and Thames thrills
Where: Whoever thought a Vaudevillian show could exist on a London barge? It's true! Not only can Battersea boast the most coverage in terms of animal entertainment (the zoo and the dogs and cats home of course) but it also produces some of the largest laughs in London, according to the howling reviews of Cheese ‘N' Crackers.
What to expect: Held on the first Thursday of every month, Battersea Barge Cabaret is hosted by Cara Cummings, who introduces ten variety entertainers all battling it out to win audience votes and the coveted Cheese 'n' Crackers Platter. It's an evening that'll have you squealing louder than a night indoors watching Britain's Got Talent. Promise!
Rah Rah Rooms – Best for getting up close and personal with the acts
Where: Literally right by Piccadilly station, you'll descend into the Rah Rah Rooms enjoying the murals on the walls and velvety decor as you go. It is so perfectly located, once the show is over, you can head out into the West End and enjoy the Beat le Freak club night.
What to expect: Imagine a combination of Las Vegas floor show and a 1940s music hall: oodles of glitz, glamour and varied entertainment. You'll be dazzled by everything from Aretha Franklin covers to a circus performer and a magician who can work wonders with a piece of rope and a copy of the Daily Telegraph.
Black Cat Cabaret - Best for Paris noir style entertainment
Where: Enter through the doors and be transported to the absinthe-soaked world of Montmartre, Paris circa Fin de Siècle. Having once performed at Café de Paris, these purveyors of cabaret noir are now performing in the Oscar Wilde room at Café Royal. Shows are also held at the London Wonderground near the South Bank.
What to expect: Look out for street singers, mad musicians and high flying acts alongside ecstatic comics and stunning yet and seductive dancers with routines that err on the sinister. Keep an eye out for the Black Cat himself who mingles around the audience in various guises. Vive le Black Cat - he does have nine lives after all!
Have witnessed something like no other at a cabaret show in London? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.
Recent Cabaret, Burlesque & Strip Clubs Articles
- Top 6 Cabaret Bars & Clubs in London for Naughty Fun (05 Jul 16)
- 3 Reasons To Visit Café de Paris On Friday Nights (28 May 12)
- Boobs, Bums & Feather Boas: World Burlesque Games Come To London (04 May 12)