Burlesque banqueting at Brick Lane’s Brickhouse
IT’S been 30 years since Steve Rubell’s Studio 54 closed in New York in 1980 but the spirit of disco lives again at Studio 64 at the Brickhouse in Brick Lane.
Headed up by International Burlesque sensation Agent Lynch (and her robotic bra), Studio 64 plays host to a heady-disco inspired rotating line up of cabaret guest stars including ‘burly’ pole sensation Glory Pearl and resident Studio 64 dance troupe the Beaux Belles.
On the night we visited the decadent debauchery was hosted by Dusty Limits as Andy Warhol incarnate, complete with platinum wig, Rayban Wayfarers, acid tongue and a repertoire of Lou Reed and Velvet Underground songs.
While the cabaret unfolds in front of them, audience members can tuck into a four-course dinner menu while the likes of diminutive hula-hooper Donald Choi gyrating on the stage in a dizzying and endearing performance.
An arthritic old lady was transformed into a refreshingly voluptuous pole dancer who dangled vertiginously, upside down eight feet above the ground .
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The show’s weak point is the Beaux Belles; “professional” dancers whose routines have the quality of those dreamt up in teenage girls’ bedrooms, with costumes to match.
Agent Lynch’s spectacular costumes and slyly comic performances made the audience giggle as, dressed as the Rhinestone Indian, she popped strategically placed balloons with a tomahawke and later rode into the club on a white (wooden) horse, in a homage to Bianca Jagger’s grand entrance at the original New York club in 1977, and stripped to Donna Summer’s disco hit I Feel Love to reveal a robotic exploding bra.
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Performances were accompanied by projections of Warhol inspired ‘screen tests’ of beautiful club kids and artists as well as shots from the heyday of Studio 54.
Dinner is decent, if slightly overpriced at �35, consisting of carrot and chorizo soup, panfried sea trout, a cheese plate and a dessert of panacotta and nectarines. Vegetarian alternatives are available but veggies would be advised to check whether the parmesan on this week’s menu is suitable for non-meat eaters.
Studio 64 is on at the Brick House in Brick Lane until Saturday, August 28. A four course dinner and entertainment costs �30 on Wednesdays and Thursday and �35 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Balcony non-dinner tickets for the show are also available for �5 on Wednesdays and Thursdays and �8 on Fridays and Saturdays.