Birdy rocked up at The Space on the Mile for the opening night of Shenanigans Cabaret at Fringe 2023 – and got treated to some proper cabaret!
Ahh, I’ve missed proper cabaret – where you get a real variety of acts. A lot of it (at least in Edinburgh) seems to have gravitated towards purely burlesque, so this was going to be a real treat.
I took my seat in the front row, having been shown in by door darling Bustyy Bleu, and after a couple of minutes we were ready to rock!
I thought it was really nice that all the acts came out and were introduced to us first and foremost by our host for the evening, Foxi Blue. Shenanigans Cabaret is only here at Fringe for two weeks, with a different cast each week.
This week’s cast include Rosie May Riot, Abby Toir, Medusa Has Been (described as draglesque, which I LOVE), Trash Valentine, Clo Clo La Hoop, Cadbury Parfait, Mr Blue on tech/production, and stage manager Calamity Valour.
After that, everyone got their moment in the spotlight, often with other cast members supporting – and it was a lot of fun!
I loved the energy of Shenanigans Cabaret as soon as the show started. It’s a really fun, colourful and energetic vibe packed full of highly entertaining performances.
There’s not a dull moment, and the audience are instantly won over. Everyone’s clapping and stamping their feet at the beginning, and all making the appropriate noises when anything particularly good happens (and there was lots of that).
The show itself
Everyone’s act is unique, ranging from the absolutely drop-dead gorgeous burlesque, to the can’t-quite-look-away sideshow, to the comedy lip syncs and the ‘how are they doing that?’ hula hooping!
Rose May Riot warmed us up with her tequila burlesque act, and I enjoyed Clo Clo La Hoop’s skills. I did struggle to watch Abby Toir’s sideshow act, as that sort of thing makes me a bit uncomfortable, but at the same time I couldn’t look away. I think that’s the aim with sideshow acts, so bravo!
Trash Valentine is an absolute pro with his boylesque act and feathers, definitely a master of burlesque, he gave a very strong performance, as well as sometimes confidently supporting the other performers during their slots by lying on the floor looking seductive.
The other two standouts of the night for me were Cadbury Parfait and Medusa Has Been. Cadbury’s act was absolutely stunning, quirky burlesque from start to finish with a perfect lip sync performance, and one of the reasons I love love LOVE burlesque.
Medusa Has Been’s menopause act was quirky and endearing – so much fun, and again I absolutely loved the lip sync.
Shenanigans Cabaret is a really fun show where you can go to forget about your worries for an hour or so and just be entertained. I definitely recommend if you’re a fan of proper cabaret and variety, as there’s something for everyone.