The autumn weather has fully hit us and if you’re looking for a tonic to bare the gloom, look no further. Producer Alex Proud has put together a one of a kind show-stopping cabaret spectacle, which he promises to be “a treat for everyone who misses the lights and magic of the theatre world.” And if this is not enough to lure you in, the show is headlined by one of West End’s favorite leading ladies: Kerry Ellis.
The evening, hosted at Proud’s venue Proud Embankment is a classy Great Gatsby-esque affair hidden under the Waterloo Bridge. From the door, you’re escorted by ushers, decked in feathers, sequins, and glittery face masks, through the Vegas-style showroom to your own socially distanced table. The ticket includes a fabulous, Asian influenced, three-course meal and a cocktail, provided by the head chef, Antonio Vacca. My companion described the dessert, as one of the best desserts he has ever had!
The main event is set in the round so each table in this two-level venue is within close proximity of the action. Proud Cabaret boasts a spectacular array of circus and cabaret talent from all over the world, which kept the audience clapping, cheering, and gasping throughout the three-act extravaganza. Director and performer Jessicat’s show lacks dramatical structure and ease of flow from act to act, but amongst the spectacle, these are minor flaws. The main focus on Friday night seemed to be on burlesque and maybe overtly so. There is an abundance of traditional old-school striptease numbers and burlesque acts with a twist: from mime to sword swallowing and from aerial skills to playing with fire.
Though there were many sparkling queens on the stage last night, Kerry Ellis is show-stopping with her raw and powerful renditions of the cinema classics like Diamonds Are Forever and This Is Me and bringing disco fever with her I (Who Have Nothing). She takes the helm hosting the show with bravura, warmth, and humour, and occasionally taking the backseat supporting her co-stars in song. It is a joy to see her working the crowd, giving her all in the vocals, and the audience in return rewarding her with tremendous applause and standing ovations. Here is a star in full throttle and in charge of her talent.
Cabaret All Stars is the perfect evening out for the upcoming seasonal festivities. It is a rare opportunity to see Kerry Ellis up close and personal with internationally acclaimed cabaret and circus line-up alternating nightly.
You can find the tickets here
Review: Jari Laakso