Cabaret in London: 2013 preview

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The top five cabaret acts coming to London in 2013

Boredom, nudity, Céline Dion, nine-year-olds and ‘trannies with fannies’ – 2013 will be another provocative year in cabaret. Take a look at the acts Ben Walters is especially excited about below, and let us know what 2013 cabaret shows you're looking forward to in the comments at the bottom of the page.



  • Who?
    Damsel Sophie

    What does she do?
    Out of Yorkshire via Oz, Damsel Sophie (aka Sophie Walsh-Harrington) mixes self-deprecating storytelling, music and audience collaboration to witty, moving, transporting effect.

    Where can I see her?
    Damsel in Shining Armour’ combines memories of looking for romance in Paris with tongue-in-cheek musings on the meaning of lurve – all set to Céline Dion’s back catalogue. It’s at the St James Studio, Saturday January 12.

  • Who?
    Bryony Kimmings

    What does she do?
    Kimmings jumbles comedy, dance, spoken word and song to make explosively imaginative shows (‘Sex Idiot’, ‘7 Day Drunk’) that are intimate, revealing, funny, emotional, challenging, accessible and ever so rude.

    Where can I see her?
    In ‘Mega’ (Southbank Centre, February 16-22), Kimmings invites you to don a Walkman and imagine yourself as her aged nine; and, for Edinburgh, she and her nine-year-old niece are making ‘Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model’, about what kids are taught to aspire to.

  • Who?
    Lady Rizo

    What does she do?
    The New York-based winner of 2012’s inaugural Time Out & Soho Theatre Edinburgh Cabaret Award (aka TO&ST), Lady Rizo is a powerhouse. Soulful, uproarious, slightly scary and utterly irresistible, she’s got a stellar voice (whether singing Piaf or Parton), she’s crazy funny and her eye contact is like a tractor beam.

    Where can I see her?
    Lady Rizo’s London debut is at the Soho Theatre, February 18-March 9. Her fellow TO&ST nominees Piff the Magic Dragon and EastEnd Cabaret have spring runs at the Soho too.

  • Jon Cartwright

    Who?
    The Famous Lauren Barri Holstein

    What does she do?
    It’s only a matter of time until this darling of the alternative performance scene lives up to her self-appointed nickname. Taking in dance, storytelling and video, deliberate boredom, nudity and bodily fluids, Holstein’s shows are a riot of shameless showmanship and live-art provocation: fine art and feminist critique meet rollerskates, squashed fruit, flashing signs and upside-down junk food. You kind of have to see it.

    Where can I see her?
    Holstein’s ‘Splat!’ opens the Barbican’s Spill Festival of Performance, April 3 and 4. ‘Bambi’ will never seem the same…

  • Lee Roberts

    Who?
    Holestar

    What does she do?
    London’s own ‘tranny with a fanny’ – a woman dressed as a man dressed as a woman – has been spreading queer love for a decade, DJing, making catchy music and witty videos and staking out a patch as an outspoken champion of the proudly non-mainstream.

    Where can I see her?
    Check out Holestar’s full-length show at Vogue Fabrics, May 14-18 to coincide with the release of her debut album.

The best London cabaret in 2012

  • 2012 was a big year for cabaret in London, as the scene and its performers have continued to move from strength to strength. With the year drawing to a close, Time Out's Cabaret Editor Ben Walters took a look back at the most memorable cabaret and burlesque moments of the last twelve months.

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