Five must-see variety and cabaret shows in London for your Christmas 2012
Our guide of London’s top five pantomimes revelled in the double entendres and other cheeky humour of this popular seasonal treat, but there’s a whole genre of grown-up Christmas cabaret to enjoy.
From the raunchy to the sophisticated, here is our line-up of London’s top adult variety and cabaret shows for Christmas.
The Comatose Beauty, Royal Vauxhall Tavern
The Royal Vauxhall Tavern, hallowed home of Friday night’s dance and cabaret-fest Duckie, once again hosts the capital’s most potty-mouthed panto. Drag performers Mz Kimberley, Myra DuBois, Lorraine Bowen, Alp Haydar, Holestar and Sharia Law perform a reworking of Sleeping Beauty where “wigs fly and handbags are drawn” and the sleeping beauty is a “comatose tranny in a glass case in a park”. Expect topicality, fluffed lines, wonky heels and rude Christmas carols.
The Comatose Beauty runs until 28th December 2012. For further information or to book tickets visit here.
The Little Match Girl, Southbank Centre
Winning three Helpmann Awards (the Australian version of the Olivier Awards) including those for Best Cabaret Performer and Musical Direction, this UK premiere stars international cabaret sensation Meow Meow, who was previously seen in the West End’s The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. This production builds upon Hans Christian Andersen’s heart-breaking tale about a match-seller trying to prevent herself from freezing to death by lighting flame from flame. In songs composed by Iain Grandage, accompanied by the Wild Dog Orchestra, the sizzling show promises to take the audience into the wilder realms of theatrical possibility.
The Little Match Girl runs until 30th December 2012. For more information and to book tickets click here.
Merrie Hell, Soho Theatre
Divinely-ageing drag provocateur David Hoyle teams up with controversial tunesmith Richard Thomas (Jerry Springer, The Opera) to create a Nativity cabaret where the Christmas tree is decorated with needles and skulls. Here, the star is wearing the baubles instead. The resulting cabaret is part filth, part angry political satire and part tender soul-bearing. Hoyle deserves to be far more widely known and here is a festive wonder. His throwaway gags have Thomas doubled up with laughter as well as the audience, which is always a good sign.
Merrie Hell runs until 5th January 2013. For more information and to book tickets click here.
Get Aladdin, Above The Stag Theatre
Writers Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper have put Oriental clichés of pantomimes and Aladdin in this adult panto. In this new production, the hero and his widowed mum (“single but experienced”) discover a magic lamp containing a lecherous, female genie. They are then chased from their Clapham Chinese by a baddie and a bumbling G4S inspector, ending up in dodgy Chinese province, Hao Hung. Here they are joined by the emperor and his hot-geek son. The promoters promise “a magical, filthy, festive show with all the trimmings and a generous helping of MSG” and their previous adult pantos have been well-received.
Get Aladdin runs until 13th January 2013. For more information or to book tickets visit here.
Camp (as Christmas), Roundhouse
Award-winning performance artist Scottee returns to the Roundhouse to host Camden’s answer to Britain’s Got Talent. His assembled cast of characters will entertain you while your turkey finally browns. You’ll be treated to lip-synching, hula-hooping, fat shaking, tap dancing and bad magic! For culture, there’ll be a poetry slam, arty video and in-house dance troupe Japan’s People. Scottee will be joined by everyone’s favourite compère, Amy Lamé. Quite the bulging stocking!
Camp (as Christmas) runs until 22nd December, 2012. You can book and find a line-up of the guests here.