EVENT REVIEW – THE CABARET FORMERLY KNOWN AS BUCKET – FRIDAY NOVEMBER 28TH THE GREEN ROOM, MANCHESTER.
I was in the audience for what many took to be the last ever Ida Bucket cabaret show back in June 2008. You can see my review of her swan song at http://arthurchappell.me.uk/the.last.cabaret.of.ida.bucket.htm
To everyone’s delight and surprise, a mysterious benefactor has raised her from the grave to give poets, singers, burlesque dancers and other talented souls a chance to show their talents before an appreciative audience. Her comeback opening show was tremendous. Rumour has it that the mystery benefactor will personally attend the next event.
Compere, and chief organizer PHILIPPA LEE was nervous at first, as this is the first time she has run such an event, but her confidence, strength and warm, sincere personality grew more apparent as the show progressed.
The first performer to be introduced was burlesque star VIOLET VA VOOM last seen by me at Slippery Belle (http://arthurchappell.me.uk/burlesque6.htm). Violet came on as an angel, stripping herself down to a more human feminine self, losing her halo, and using her detachable wings as most burlesque dancers would use feather-fans.
Singer NAN FEE followed with a haunting version of Julie London’s Cry Me A River. It was good to see that she had live electronic organ accompaniment (by Chris Roe) rather than just singing to backing tracks.
ANDY N – a Green Room favorite, presented a set of light humorous poems.
This was followed by an extra-ordinary display of conjuring by MISTER MAGIC, another Slippery Belle performer. MM http://arthurchappell.me.uk/burlesque5.htm played with Christmas tree Lights, making them dance from the little tree to his hands, come on and switch off at will, and even threw them (out and invisible) to the audience, and then had them throw them back to him, and they came back on once in his possession.
Music / comedy zombie Country & western combo LOS ZOMBINOS presented some very funny songs about eating our brains, and proved to be exceptional on guitar and banjo for being dead.
After a twenty minute drinks break, during which Mister Magic performed table top tricks for many in the audience, part two opened with a comedy séance staged by THE MONOPOLY OF NOISE, with Chris Fitzimmons, (who had performed at Ida’s Last Cabaret too. Accompanied by Miss Elanius, & Ethel Fortune he tried to raise the attention of the dead by having us stand up, gather round him and sing How Much Is That Doggy In The Window. It worked. A grieving widow, (Ethel) comforted by our compere, found her husband, Charles Fortune, calling to her from the ether – he never really liked her, he said, to her increasing distress, and then he curses her and causes her own death. Macabre and funny at the same time.
ANDY N returned, with more poetry, highlighted by his Beach Boys spoof – tribute in which we had to shout ‘FUN!’ on the end of each line as a jokester ruins his career through his jokes at the bosses expense and then realizes that being sacked isn’t FUN at all.
NAN FEE presented a soulful rendition of Maybe This Time, a Liza Minelli hit from the musical Cabaret.
VIOLET VA VOOM presented a second dance; to Steeleye Span’s Xmas hit Gaudette. This was a beautiful, balletic dance in a very sexy corset and with superb use of a suspenseful pause, she only pulled away the top to reveal her breast tassels after the music stopped, before taking a bow before a very appreciative audience.
LOS ZOMBINOS ended the night with more songs from the Nashville graveyard – Not many C & W performers sing about how ‘There’s Nuffin In Her Coffin.’
A highly entertaining evening, with a chance to meet lots of new and old friends. Hopefully, Ida won’t kick the Bucket again, for along long time. As our compere had us shout in appreciation of the artistes, Hurrah!
News of events at the phoenix-like incarnation of dear old Ida Bucket can be seen at http://www.myspace.com/formerlybucket
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