Arthur Chappell

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EVENT REVIEW - THE 5th CABARET FORMERLY KNOWN AS BUCKET – THE GREEN ROOM, WHITWORTH STREET, MANCHESTER.  THURSDAY 3rd DECEMBER 2009

 

Another excellent and eclectic cabaret show, show-casing some of the finest burlesque, comedy, conjuring, story-telling, and the finest entertainers seen anywhere on the planet.

                                           

The Green Room was well decorated for Christmas with a life sized Santa Clause dummy in the corner by the bar, which danced at the press of a button, becoming a part of the show in his own right.

 

Mince pies were put out on the audience tables. Our genial host, and event organizer, GARETH CUTTER, aka BILL BUCKET, was dressed as an elf, one of Santa’s little helper’s, with his underpants on over his elf outfit in Superhero tradition. He tested the mic with his own rendition of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas to thunderous applause from the early arriving audience member, namely, me.

 

As Showtime drew near, the audience numbers grew and artistes arrived ready to perform. ALLIKI CHAPPLE, dressed in silver and painted silver, who stood statue like beside the Santa, copying his dance perfectly whenever he was activated  – She was a REQUEST ROBOT, programmed as we’d learn, to do the audience’s bidding, within reason and legality. Signalled by those with mobile phones, through a number given out during the show, she ended up hopping, dancing, snogging the Santa, snogging me (thanks to whoever requested that), patting my belly and asking when my baby is due, pulling down Gareth’s underpants and putting them on her own head, making monkey noises, singing Bob Marley songs, and taking off her own trousers at the end of the night. She did all of this with great bravery and a straight face.

 

Burlesque was provided by EVE D’EMERALDE, a favourite with audience’s at the Slippery Belle shows, (see burlesque reviews    6   8  11 12 16  and 17. Here, she introduced her latest routine, performing as a very sexy panto-esque elf, presenting a seminar on elf & safety, using very professional looking signs, a hard hat, and other safety gear, peeling off her elven-wear to replace it with more practical work-wear, and taking that off too – the North Pole will never be the same again.  

 

ALEX D FISHER presented some comical, and very well handled conjuring tricks, in one case involving a sharp looking real armour piercing shell contained in one of three paper cones. A lady from the audience looked nervous as he crushed one of the randomly moved cups with her hand – had the shell been inside she’d have been hurt. He crushed the remaining empty cups with his own hand.

 

He then undertook an ambitious card trick involving correctly telling which of two volunteers had cards from an entire shuffled deck, and though he got most right, the volunteers themselves were struggling to keep up with what was involved so the trick didn’t fully work out. It was still very impressive though. No one there could doubt Alex as a great magician.

 

There was an interval now, followed by ALEX D FISHER returning with a conjuring free Ronnie Barker monologue story about Cinderella, told beautifully in double-entrende festooned Spoonerisms

 

There was a welcome return for the 4th CABARET FORMERLY KNOWN AS BUCKET performer, PUPPETUAL MOTION. Traditional compeer, Pico the Sponge found himself almost usurped by Frosty The Snowman, but bounced back to send the invader packing with songs about him melting and dying in the warm.  Pico recited a very funny maloproptic version of the 12 Days Of Christmas involving receipt of confused gifts including Alan Partridge in Brie, etc. The existentialist French philosopher crocodile that was suitably rude and perceptive on all things Xmas too.

 

BILL BUCKET sang a comedy song about crap presents, playing the banjo superbly.

 

The third part of the show followed another interval, with the action moving up to the Mezzanine floor above the ground floor bar area.

 

EVE D’EMERALDE returned and performed a stunning Hollywood inspired belly dance I last saw her present at a Slippery Belle Burlesque earlier in the year.

 

GATHERED EARTH followed – a duo of young ladies using an extraordinary range of beat boxing, vocal dexterity, jazzy sound effects, (without instruments), face pulling, gurning, mimicry, gospel, and great timing & co-ordination to present a piece on the damage we are doing to the Earth, followed by a specially prepared piece on the crass consumerism and banality of Christmas. Funny and political at the same time – quite ingenious.

 

JOHN CAGE’S DISCO CLASSICS, the final performance of the night was undoubtedly the strangest cabaret act I’ve seen.  Recreating bizarre disco themed art installation performance work, his routines included climbing a set of step-ladders to slowly drip water from a jug over himself and the floor, pretending to visit the toilet during a disco song, removing his shirt and smearing himself all over in Nivea cream, inspired by the avant garde Dada artist, Alison Knowles, and finally lighting the candles on a large sponge cake, blowing out the candles, and putting the cake in his own face to the tune Disco Inferno. 

 

With the stage area being cleaned up, the show came to an end. Hopefully Bucket will return in 2010 with new comedy, magic, puppetry, robotics, music, dance and experimentation work of a kind all to rarely seen in Manchester.

 

A huge thanks to Gareth for organizing the event.

Copyright. Arthur Chappell                                                        

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