I think it’s fair to say that I have seen a LOT of cabaret shows: from burlesque graduation shows and burlesque festivals to west end stage productions and everything in between – even across multiple continents – I try to catch a minimum of one show a month wherever I am in the world. One show that I’ve always had a soft spot for is Cabaret Roulette, the brainchild of Vivacity Bliss. Launched in November 2012, the show has a simple goal: to shake up the cabaret scene by throwing out old ideas, empowering audiences and challenging artists to push beyond their comfort zones. With a central theme, chosen in advance by the audience, eight carefully handpicked and curated artists – representing a cross section of the differing disciplines of cabaret – have two months to create a brand new act with their individual take on that theme. Previous themes have included Fairytales, Asylum, Revolution and Sick Note! What I love about the shows is the unpredictability of what you might see on the stage at any given show – and quite honestly the calibration of performer is second to none!
A few years ago Vivacity Bliss announced that Cabaret Roulette was going on hiatus for a while and, quite honestly, it left a cabaret shaped hole in my heart. Providing the creative fuel for so many innovative cabaret acts, it was a sad day for the London cabaret scene. However, just as acceptance started to kick in that the show was gone for good, murmurings started appearing on their Facebook page… Cabaret Roulette was back!
And even better, I had been asked to photograph the show!
So, on November 16th 2019, I hopped on a train down to the Royal Vauxhall Tavern for Cabaret Roulette: Dealer’s Choice and wow did it feel good to be back! Featuring drag artist Crayola the Queen, feminist clown Kiki Mellék, stand up Comedian Onyx Fatale, burlesque performer Mysti Vine, hooper Miss Oopsie Ooohh, comedy burlesquer Ginger Cupcake, musical bouffon Scarlet Shambles and showgirl Felicity Furore, the show was compèred by Jack Stark (aka Kiki Lovechild) and stage managed by Rosie Kohl.
There are so many highlights from the show, most of which are shown in photos below. I have so many personal highlights from this show, but the best moment for me was when Jack Stark came out after Felicity Furore’s glitter pour in a hazmat suit – we could all sympathise! Were you there? Which was your favourite Extravaganza act?
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