Posts Tagged ‘cabaret’


LSE Cities Literary Festival – film screening and discussion

Wednesday, 22 February, 2012

Date: Saturday 3 March 2012. 5-6.30pm
Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building

With Patrick Hazard, Michael Rosen, Emma-Louise Williams

Emma-Louise William’s film, Under the Cranes (2011), is based on the documentary play for voices, Hackney Streets, by poet and former Children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen. Blending rare archive footage and dreamlike sequences of present-day Hackney, Williams links the everyday with the social and literary history of this dynamic and culturally diverse East London borough.

Following the screening, Hazard, Williams and Rosen will discuss the hybridity of literature and film, as well as Hackney and the increasing attention it has received in light of the 2012 Olympics and controversial redevelopment projects.

Patrick Hazard is the Director of the London Independent Documentary Film Festival.

Michael Rosen was born in 1946 in north London. He has been writing, performing, broadcasting and lecturing since the early 70s. He co-devised and co-teaches a Masters course at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Emma-Louise Williams is a radio producer and first-time film-maker. She is currently making a radio documentary for BBC Radio 4 about unaccompanied, asylum-seeking children and young people in East London. Her work seeks to counter the prevailing perception of the inner city as a site of failure, ugliness and misdeed through a ‘socio-poetics’ of everyday life.

This is part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival. More at


Festival of emerging mime, puppetry and cabaret

Thursday, 19 January, 2012

Coming to Enfield in June

This June, Finger in the Pie are curating a month long festival of emerging Mime, Puppetry and Cabaret performances  in the Dugdale Theatre part of Millfield Arts Centre, in Enfield north London. They are currently programming stand-alone mime, puppetry and cabaret performances. Organisers are also considering screenings of films, documentaries and animations related to the themes.

Slots range from short runs, to one off nights, and there are a variety of different slot lengths and times available. If you’d be interested in submitting your show, then you will need to fill in the online application form at this address:

The organisers are not currently looking for individual acts and performers – they will be announcing opportunities for individuals to get involved later.




Hot August Fringe by Catia Ciarico

Wednesday, 15 June, 2011

Festival runs 25 July to 26 August 2011

The Royal Vauxhall Tavern hosts Hot August Fringe

Here at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern we are fast approaching our third Hot August Fringe festival, which we are very excited about. The Hot August Fringe runs from 25th July through to 26th August, Monday to Friday. When we first launched the HAF in 2009 we didn’t envisage it would be something that would take off as much as it did, but its popularity among performers and punters alike means that it has become a regular affair.

The Hot August Fringe is a performance festival with a particular focus on cabaret, if you drop in you might see alternative cabaret followed by a sketch show followed by poetry; or a contemporary magic show alongside experimental theatre followed by a band. At the RVT we have never been one for conventions and have always embraced the idea of turning performance on its head, subverting it and defying expectations. This year will be no different.

We took some real risks last year when we programmed work all over the building, even in a bedroom upstairs where only one audience member at a time was allowed in to see the show. There was a show on a bus (yes, you heard me, a bona fide routemaster bus!) and shows in the middle of the RVT space not just the stage. We even had a performer entertaining the audience from the toilet, in the best possible taste you understand. We really wanted the festival to reflect the exciting directions being explored by artists in the cabaret and performance world at present, and we still do.

Last year we had 75 shows, and over 2000 tickets sold, not bad for a pub venue with just one stage! This year we will have up to 100 performances in two venues, with two other well know producers programming whole nights themselves create mini festivals in the HAF – Wotever World and UnderConstruction. Both are programming their particular blend of avante garde and genre busting work. There are some weird and wonderful things going on in the cabaret world at present, it’s the most exciting area of theatre and performance generally. We want this festival to reflect and encourage this, and give a platform to the dynamic experimentation currently taking place.

The acts this year include performers such as cabaret underworld superstar Ophelia Bitz; comic  Ava Vidal; comedy  sketch performers  Morris & Vyse; Lorraine Bowen’s cabaret show about Polyester; Alp Haydar – an actor whose one man shows include lots of multi-media ; a film night curated by Ben Walters with work from Dickie Beau;  Ste McCabe curating a band night; musical actor Andrew Pepper; The Mustadashio’s – a Manchester based dance duo; and physical theatre company FarRemoved with a new piece of work about the famous 70’s documentary, Grey Gardens. The genres covered by the festival include performance art, cabaret and alternative cabaret, theatre, comedy, music, club nights, political debates, sketch shows and film.

It’s wonderful to see a new show being born at the festival and to watch it go on to grow and develop, then continue life in other places. Many shows and performers in the Hot August Fringe have gone on to do this, and we know many shows will do so again this year.

It isn’t all plain sailing, and dealing with the demands of such varied and wide ranging performers can have its ‘challenges’ – from the categorisation of some of the work, through to the throwing of tantrums and tiaras. In the process, tears are mopped up, tiaras retrieved and lots and lots of triumphs celebrated.

One of the things that make this festival unique is the approach to ticketing, tickets are priced at £7 but if you come along to the venue, You can still stay and watch whatever is on after (or even before if you arrive early enough) and are simply asked to make a donation to the show you haven’t bought a ticket for in the infamous HAF bucket which is passed around after. This has been a huge success, allowing people to see shows and performances they would never have dreamed of buying a ticket for and sometimes making life long fans of new work and performers.

There are some great festivals in the UK and we all know them, Edinburgh being the biggest with London now coming into its own in creating some very vibrant festivals that showcase great work, such as the Camden Fringe, The Alternative Arts Festival and the London Bridge Festival, by comparison to some of these we are fledglings, a small, but beautifully formed performance festival even if we do say so ourselves!

We look forward to seeing you all at the Royal Vauxhall Tavern.

(c) Catia Ciarico (Programmer and events co-ordinator, The Royal Vauxhall Tavern)

14 June 2011



Monday, 9 August, 2010

Clowns deliver creepy cabaret

London – The Lion and Unicorn Theatre – 4 – 5 August 10 – 18:30 (1:00)

Clowns At Work’s second outing together does what it says on the tin.  Only it’s written in clown: this is macabre cabaret.  Three clowns in far more than three guises entertain with a variety of morbidly and spookily themed skits.

Cabaret clowns, it would appear, are gloriously aware and unaware of stagecraft.  As cabaret performers, they all perform willingly to a soundtrack which encompasses the thrillingly chilling, the suitably dramatic (Beethoven’s 5th) and sometimes the delightfully inappropriate (Elvis’s Love Me Tender).  But the clown in them can still be surprised or frightened by music and sound effects as well.  A prop will be stylishly caught in the wings then comically dropped a moment later.  And one clown clearly hasn’t read the horror brief at first.

A member of the undead (Marc Frost) writing a suicide letter to his mother is a wonderful conceit.  While his amusing attempts at the act itself could do with more polish, Alica Da Cunha’s inanely grinning helmeted aide to undead euthanasia is a sight to behold.  Her later turn as a clown pursued by death, whilst simultaneously performing death pursuing a clown is also very funny.

Marc Frost has a great stage presence as Dracula, but is at his best as a cross dressing story-telling clown with a macabre appetite for babies.  Watching him feed is fantastic; he should indulge us more.  Daniela Bitzi is a charming yet sinister clown.  Her Germanic witch’s cookery class is highly entertaining and her turn as a boxer, wooing ladies to less savoury ends, is a clownish triumph of mime, performed to a wonderfully comic choice of musical accompaniment.  All three performers move well, however there is mime which could do with more clarity.  Some sketches drift in search of an ending, and the Frankensteins do not deserve such lengthy stage time in their present form.

Adding horror to cabaret and vice versa brings humour to both.  The laughs are there, though more could found and some moments edited to avoid excess.  The show is restricted a little by the constraints of the space (these clowns could do with wings).  Despite the theme, there’s little in the way of frights, but Macabret can be very funny and the spectacular climax is both gruesome and haunting…

Cast Credits: (alpha order):  Daniela Bitzi,  Alice Da Cunha,  Marc Frost

Company Credits:  Devised by the Company.  Stage Manager – Elizabeth Scales.  Company – Clowns at Work.  Website –

(c) Ben Neale

Reviewed Thursday, 05 August 2010 / The Lion and Unicorn Theatre, London UK