Circus-style cabaret at Cafe de Paris
AS comical and unashamedly outlandish as it is, cabaret isn’t often described as hip.
But the supper club – a good old fashioned blend of dinner, entertainment and dancing – is alive and well within our city walls and far from obsolete.
Caf� de Paris, the 1920s edifice sandwiched between various celeb haunts in the heart of Piccadilly Circus, has been running a popular Saturday night variety club since 2006, which has happily discovered itself as somewhat recession-proof.
Entering the building, a flock of corseted lovelies lead us to a table in the heart of the small but atmospheric main auditorium.
Impeccable service (my wine glass never reached the halfway empty mark) guided us through a three-course meal and the two-hour show.
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The portions of king prawn, followed by chicken and then a strawberry mess were hearty but don’t come here expecting your taste buds to be tantalised.
At �75 for three courses, entry to the show and the club, this evening is more about the quality of the entertainment than the grub.
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The programme started with impossibly supple trio Cabaret Rouge, who shimmied their way through ten feathery minutes of burlesque.
They were followed by a magic duo, Cirque Du Soleil-style balancing act Reuben Kuan, sultry-voiced Millie Dollar and the odd drag queen thrown in for good measure.
Host and organiser Lady Alex hand picks each act and the key, she says, has been the variety element.
The line-up is not simply a Liza Minnelli fan’s ultimate fantasy but a mix of cheeky choreography, cutting edge acrobatic and dance performance and the plain hilarious.
The last act of the night, named simply The Boy With Tape On His Face, had the audience up on stage performing to his direction.
Watching one young man perplexed after being gestured to put on a boiler suit, florescent jacket and hard-hat and then realising what was expected him when Tom Jones’ classic strip tune ‘You Can Leave Your Hat On’ blared out was a particular highlight.
Lady Alex’s hosting - which came complete with a love song dedicated to Osama Bin Laden – pulled it all together.
Just remember to take your dancing shoes as you could find yourself centre stage until the early hours when all those feathers are cleared away.
The Wam Bam Club runs every Saturday from 7pm with a free burlesque class running from 6.30pm. Tickets start from �35. Go to wambamclub.com for details.