Ms Paolini’s Phantasmagoria Cabaret at Hoxton Hall
For a night of creative comedy, explosive drama, incredible music and all-around exhilarating entertainment, look no further than Ms Paolini’s Phantasmagoria Cabaret at the intimate Hoxton Hall. Ms Paolini hilariously welcomes an array of guests ranging from musicians to comedians.
“Phantasmagoria” is the perfect word to describe this show, due to the utter variety and non sequitur-esque nature of the performances. While one with a less crude sense of humour may stiffen at the comedians’ constant dirty jokes and the near-nudity of Irie Feather’s (Zuza Tehanu) mock-strip dance, those who fully embrace the bizarre and graphic show will be delighted by the strange but entertaining performances. The cabaret forces the audience to lose their inhibitions and expectations, and to simply allow themselves to revel in the wonderful oddity of the night.
It is impossible to appreciate the diversity of the evening’s set list without highlighting the various talents of the performers themselves. Ms Paolini is a marvellous host; any sentence she utters is brilliantly timed and worded, making the most mundane of mutterings hilarious. Comedienne Camilla Canocchi manages to get political in a very fresh and minimalistic way, while still keeping the focus of her set on humour, rather than current events. JennyBSide, a gender fluid “#Trollopop” singer, has the crowd hooting and howling as she delivers songs such as My Dad in a Sheet (she falls in love with a ghost; the punchline is the title of the song), in addition to a Weird-Al-style parody of Mr Brightside about needing to use the restroom on a date (to put it politely). JennyBSide is obscene and detailed in her lyrics – and the audience love it. Percussionist Beibei Wang takes the stage as the final act, and the sole family friendly one of the night; she enchants spectators with her undeniable talent and musicianship.
Hoxton Hall is a cosy but charming venue, with just enough space for the extravagance of the evening. Talking to performers in the line for refreshments during intermissions is an unforgettable experience; seeing these absurd and imaginative characters without the limelight and the applause adds to the genuineness of the show.
Overall, the cabaret is ludicrous, lighthearted, at times facetious, preposterously unique and unforgettable. Though at times the evening is confusing, vulgar and lacking in a clear focus, the magic is in the unapologetic ridiculousness of it all.
Photo: Daniele De Paola
Ms Paolini’s Phantasmagoria Cabaret was at Hoxton Hall on 26th July 2019.