Theatre

Above The Stag Theatre’s Cabaret Lounge Relaunch: Review by Stephen Vowles

“Wow” and “sensational” are words often used to describe theatrical shows – and they are both apt and most certainly true to describe the re-opening of Above The Stag’s cabaret nights in Vauxhall. All the stops have been pulled out to create a Cabaret Lounge to rival any West End venue. A gorgeous and sexy glitter space complete with neon lights, screen projections and table and chairs positioned in such a way that everyone in the audience had a perfect view of the stage. 

Opening the night was Mr Paul L  Martin aka Paulus The Cabaret Geek, who is a born trouper and his well researched and honourable homage to the late and great Victoria Wood set the tone for a memorable evening of wit, satire and good all round cabaret excellence. His act sparkled with appreciation for Wood as an actress, comedienne, writer and for her musicality, phrasing and those so so wonderful rhyming ditties and songs.

Star turns quickly followed by Adele Anderson performing a rather risqué song by Rogers and Hart in her own chic and amazing style, in a way that she has made her own. Adele is the perfect mistress of re-interpretation. She sings I have nothing, in fact she has everything. 

Jimmy Lavender is a true original performing a self penned song about meeting a guy, doing the deed and the inevitable what happened; this scenario made a very intimate song performed with a pathos that had the whole audience’s attention and got the well deserved applause at the finish. Then it was David Breed’s go on the mic – soon to star in the revival of Dear Evan Hansen – he chose to belt out “Corner of the Sky” from Pippin which totally demonstrated the lad’s vocals range and his ability to carry a very demanding song, especially the magnificent key change at the song end. Wrapping up the show fell on to the shoulders of Lucy Penrose and Lizzie Beal whose ability to put their own marks on songs was undeniably good, with Miss Penrose’s comedy skills clearly on show.

Hosted by drag star Kitty Scott-Claus and cabaret legend Tim McArthur, this was a night that showcased finely tuned cabaret gold with Season 1 going through to 20th June and the main stage at the venue soon to be mounting productions like the notable “Contact: Stories of Division and Unity” season of new writing. Check out the venue’s website for all the information. 

This was a fabulous compendium. A cornucopia of superb talent that as lockdown eases and theatres start to breathe again, Above the Stag’s Cabaret Lounge will shine as a place for people’s needs to be entertained and fulfilled – and with a very welcoming outside garden terrace also to be enjoyed as a social place to have a pre and post theatre tipple – and you’ll find Above The Stag has very attentive staff for both outside and inside the venue. 

*****

Cabaret Lounge at Above The Stag, 72 Albert Embankment, Vauxhall, London SE1 7TP. Tickets, show details and dates from www.abovethestag.com

Photo by PBG Studios

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