EVENT REVIEW – THE 4TH CABARET FORMERLY KNOWN AS BUCKET – THE GREEN ROOM, WHITWORTH STREET, MANCHESTER SEPTEMBER 3RD 2009
Having performed in the 2cd & 3rd Bucket revivals, I was delighted to attend and watch the 4th show. I arrived early to admire the new set. A naked female mannequin’s lower body was standing in the corner, with a Tupperware vase balanced over her pelvis, filled with rose bouquets. A dress bearing the sequinned word Bucket was applied shortly before the show commenced. The effigy allegedly bore the ashes of the original Ida Bucket herself, we were told later. (Photos 151 152 153) Crumpled paper & paper aeroplanes were scattered around the Green Room for throwing at someone as yet unspecified, later on.
There was a new compeer now with the delightful Philippa Lee taking a well earned rest. It was down to Bill Bucket, Ida’s nephew, to take control of the show. He was played by Gareth Cutter, of Los Zombinos. 154 155 He began the show by standing on the stage with a tin bucket on his head, looking like Australian outlaw Ned Kelly and bearing an alarm clock. When the clock went off, the show commenced.
Bill now dressed as a school headmaster, with cloak, mortar-board and cane. He sang a song about the Class Of 98, which was mostly to do with starting fires and avenging himself on his old enemies.
Bill then introduced the opening act – DAISY CUTTER, a burlesque dancer in a wild. Sheena, Queen Of The Jungle set, with wild savage exoticism, and daubing herself in paint as she peeled away her layers. 156 157 158 159 160 161
Comedy next with Wigan’s Peter Kennedy presenting PUPPETUAL MOTION , (last seen by me at the Not Part Of Festival earlier in the year at the Ape & Apple bar.). At the Green Room, Pico, the sponge puppet, did his own version of the song Sunscreen, with its homily advise turned into a savage attack on chavs who prefer to get sunburn, and using popular songs to ask questions and answer them with the titles and lines of other songs. Very Funny. 162 163
CHRIS FITZSIMMONS followed to close the first half of the show with some very funny comedy tall tales about his girlfriend’s former lover, a French fighter pilot with a tendency to pour wine over his lovers and set them alight. 167
A twenty minute interval was followed with a silly quiz, in which two volunteers, Jemma Cousar & Duckie Hartley competed for a bag of goodies with the loser being promised the teacher’s cane. (She was actually given the cane rather than a thrashing with it). Bill Bucket asked the questions. Lethal Gem assisted. . 169 170 171
LETHAL GEM followed the quiz by immediately launching into a burlesque routine as a naughty school girl, appropriately using Alice Cooper’s School’s out music with Lilybet Grey. Acting as her teacher. 172/. 173/.
DANIEL JAY ROSE was next, and probably the best mime artist :I’ve seen, covering many traditional routines, such as the heavy balloon, the glass wall, with brilliant timing and facial expressions. 175 176
The penultimate act was GEMMA NEEP, who played an intensely lonely girl who was trying desperately to throw a house warming party, with the audience as her guests. She gave us all large glasses, but produced only a little bottle of wine, much of which she poured for herself, before trying to share the little remaining among us all. Her only piece of music was Chris Rea’s Lady In Red, generally regarded as awful and she wasn’t wearing red anyway – it was a lovely piece of situational comedy tinged with sorrow. 177 178
The final set was Michael Twaits: London based cabaret star, singer, post-queer drag artist, and poet, presenting highlights of a forthcoming show (to be staged at the Lowry Centre) with fans of Britney Spears, Judy Garland & Gary Glitter reflecting on how their lives have been affected by their iconic gay heroes, especially in how Glitter’s songs can rarely be performed since his child –sex offences came to light.
The poem on the Stonewall raids occurred at the time of Judy Garland’s arrest was powerful, and followed by a breath-taking rendition of Don’t Let It Rain On My Parade, during which Twaits took the roving mic out into the street, singing as much to passers by and the audience queuing at the Ritz nightclub opposite the Green Room as to us, through the plate glass wall.
Twaits ended a stunning set with a rendition of Sweet Transvestite from the Rocky Horror Show, and no doubt he should be cast as Frank’N’Furter in a full production of the play.
Later – As the show seemed due to wrap up, the stage was invaded by a puritanical protester denouncing the Cabaret for its filthiness but Gem & Bill Bucket chloroformed him, and carted his unconscious or dead body away, never to trouble us again. Hurrah!
© Copyright. Arthur Chappell
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