Our very own Laura Kressly popped her head in through the door of the 2014 London Cabaret Awards. Read her summary of the evening.
The Lost Theatre hosted the third annual London Cabaret Awards, and a wonderfully celebratory evening it was in an intimate venue. The event seeks to celebrate this growing scene as well as reward performers in the genre for excellent achievement.
Drag queen Myra Dubois hosted the event, as well as performing excerpts from her own act. She engaged the audience more skillfully than most queens and was a pleasure to watch. There were a number of different performances in between the awards that encompassed the wide variety of performance style that falls under the cabaret label. The Dream Bears opened the show with a three-hander burlesque bear act. For those that might be unfamiliar with the term, a “bear” in gay scene is a large, cuddly, hairy guy. These three came onstage in black satin dressing gowns and stripped down to frilly knickers whilst dancing to Lady Marmalade.
Best Musical Variety Act was awarded to Adam Kay, followed by the Best Newcomer award going to Tina T’Urner Tea Lady. Duo Bogof won Best Alternative Performer and Jess Love won Best Circus Act. Though these acts did not perform, The Tom Show performed a contortion act where he – a full-grown man – managed to fit himself through a tennis racket. The bit where he dislocated his shoulder was both horrifying and hilarious. After this short performance break, The Boy With Tape on His Face won Best Specialty Act. Best Vocal Act went to Lady Rizzo and Kitty Bang Bang won Best Burlesque Act.
After a lengthy, boozy interval, The Dream Bears returned with a Hawaiian strip tease. Myra continued the entertainment with her sequined Margaret Thatcher tribute of Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. After these performances, more awards were given out. Soho Downstairs won Best Venue and La Voix won Best Drag Act. Benjamin Louche won Best Host and Tamar Broadbent treated us to a musical theatre-style piano song about her first love, a boy called Patrick from her high school drama club. The song was poignant, funny and emphasized how a simple act of a girl with a piano can be so entertaining.
There were two more awards before the next performance: the Audience Award (as presented by a randomly chosen member of the audience) went to Jayde Adams and Jo King won the Unsung Hero Award. Myra then started to perform another number, but that was hijacked by three girls in hoodies who turned out to be The Original Street Dancers, a burlesque-style act that stripped down to Morris dancer pants with bells on and finished off with a floral dance. They were entertaining, inventive and surprising.
The last two awards of the evening were for Best Production, won by Black Cat Cabaret, and Gay Bingo won Outstanding Achievement. Myra Dubois wrapped up the evening with an announcement that the bar would stay open as long as people were drinking and this got the biggest cheer of the night. The whole event was entertaining, joyful and an inclusive celebration of all things cabaret. The outfits were great, too!