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The Silencing of Miss Scarlett – Proud Cabaret, London

Reviewer: Rob Cottingham

[rating:3.5]

43Dry ice floods the stage, waitresses wearing lingerie repeat drinks orders alluringly, and a boozy crowd work themselves into a frenzy for the start of The Silencing of Miss Scarlett, anevening of cabaret led by host Joe Morose.The crowd is approximately half and half men and women, putting paid to the idea that burlesque is just artistic stripping for men to leer over and while the burlesque dancers do actually take off their clothes, it’s more suggestive then erotic, nipple tassels and merkins sparing modesties and blushes all round.

The performances that make up the show are mostly excellent. Morose swaggers on to the stage and belts out a rendition of Come Together, replete with a series of puns around the title, which has everyone clapping along at the start.Next was Jonathon Finch, ‘The Bendiest man in Cabaret’, a treat indeed for the men and women in the audience inclined that way though it is more hilarious than sexy. One of his acts is to contort his legs over his body while reading the newspaper or putting on his trousers.And Missy Fatale, one of the burlesque dancers (along with Betsy Rose and Miss Scarlett) does a breathtaking act with burning torches.

It was a pity then that there was so little time spent on the actual narrative – a detective was in the room looking for clues as to who had murdered Miss Scarlett, with his thoughts recorded and played back through the speakers like the narration in a Philip Marlowe novel or film noir. But he as soon as he made a discovery it was time for Morose to come back on with another song, admittedly with a strong voice and two fine Kander &Ebb numbers from Cabaret were particularly good choices. The story never feels that important to the whole evening.But the audience undoubtedly had a fine time throughout and the combination of alcohol and theatre is something to be celebrated. Proud Cabaret has venues in Camden and the City, when will they open in the West End?

The Silencing of Miss Scarlet plays every Friday at Proud Cabaret City

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